вторник, 8 ноября 2011 г.

National cuisine

Food in Japan


     
Today, I would like to tell you about my unusual experience in the university. It was a project "National cuisine", which was made by my classmate Nastya and me. In my opinion, it's was very interesting! It was our first time, when we work together, and, by the way, with our same interest, Japan!  Nastya and I are studying the Japanese language together, so we had some information about this subject, but it was exciting to find out something new!!! So, set comfy and have a pleasant reading!

Today, we would like to tell you about one of the most interesting and unusual cuisine in the world. Japanese cuisine has developed over the centuries as a result of many political and social changes. The cuisine eventually changed with the advent of the Medieval age. Japanese cuisine is known for the food quality of ingredients and presentation.         
There are 3 parts of the food that are considered part of Japan's national cuisine today: rice, noodles and bread or pan.Since its cultivation in Japan about 2000 years ago, rice has been Japan's most important crop.  Noodles often take the place of rice in a meal. They are featured in many soup dishes. Bread is not native to Japan and is not considered traditional Japanese food, but since its introduction in the 19th century it has become common. The word pan is originally taken from Portuguese.

The Japanese bread
Well the Popular Japanese national dishes include gyoza, tempura, tonkatsu, ramen, soba, yakitori, sukiyaki, okonomiyaki, teppanyaki, shabu-shabu and, of course, sushi. The staples that make up Japanese cuisine remain the same nationwide: soy sauce, miso, tofu, beans and above all, the divine crop, rice. 
An izakaya is the Japanese equivalent of a pub-eatery. It’s good place to visit when you want a casual meal, a wide selection of food, a hearty atmosphere and, of course, plenty of beer and sake. When you enter an izakaya, you are given the choice of sitting around the counter, at a table or on a tatami floor. You usually order a bit at a time, choosing from a selection of typical Japanese foods, such as yakitori, sashimi and grilled fish, as well as Japanese interpretations of Western foods like French fries and beef stew. 

The Japanese pup-eatery
  
Sushi is considered an accompaniment for beer and sake. All proper sushi restaurants serve their fish over rice, in which case it’s called sushi; without rice, it’s called sashimi. The most common variety is nigiri-zushi, which is served on a small bed of rice and maki-zushi, which is served in a seaweed roll. Sushi isn’t difficult to order. If you sit at the counter of a sushi restaurant you can simply point at what you want, as most of the selections are visible in a refrigerated glass case between you and the sushi chef. 

Sushi and sashimi

Popular in the West,  Shabu-shabu and sakiyaki are favourite of most foreign visitors to Japan. Sukiyaki consists of thin slices of beef cooked in a broth of shoyu, sugar and sake, and accompanied by a variety of vegetables and tofu. After cooking, all the ingredients are dipped in raw egg before being eaten. When made with high-quality beef, like Kobe beef, it’s a sublime experience. Sukiyaki restaurants usually have traditional Japanese décor and sometimes a picture of a cow to help you identify them. Shabu-shabu consists of thin slices of beef and vegetables cooked by swirling the ingredients in a light broth, then dipping them in a variety of special sesame-seed and citrus-based sauces.

Shabu-shabu

Tempura consists of portions of fish, prawns and vegetables cooked in fluffy, nongreasy batter. When you sit down at a tempura restaurant, you will be given a small bowl of a light brown sauce and a plate of grated daikon to mix into the sauce. Dip each piece of tempura into this sauce before eating it. Tempura is best when it’s hot, so don’t wait too long.

Tempura

And now about fugu. It’s a poisoning fish. You should be very careful when eating it. The deadly fugu is eaten more for the thrill than the taste. Although the danger of fugu poisoning is negligible, some Japanese joke that you should always let your dining companion try the first piece. If they are still talking after five minutes, you can consider it safe and have some yourself. Fugu is a seasonal delicacy best eaten in winter. Fugu restaurants usually serve only fugu, and can be identified by a picture of a fugu on the sign out the front of the restaurant.

Fugu
 
It's a very poison fish

Although very tasty

Although most restaurants don’t serve desserts, there is no lack of sweets in Japan. Most sweets are sold in speciality stores for you to eat at home. Many of the more delicate-looking ones are made to balance the strong, bitter taste of the special powdered green tea served during tea ceremony. Some Westerns find Japanese sweets  a little challenging, due to the liberal use of a sweet, red azuki-bean paste called anko. 

Wagashi

Japanese sweets
    
     Drinking plays a big role in Japanese society, and there are few social occasions where beer or sake isn’t served. Alcohol also plays a ceremonial role in various Shinto festivals and rites, including the marriage ceremony. As a visitor to Japan, you’ll probably find yourself in lots of situations where you are invited to drink, and tipping back a few beers or glasses of sake is a great way to know the locals. However, if you don’t drink alcohol, it’s not a problem. Simply order oolong tea instead of beer or sake. 

Sake

Green tea


In Japanese tradition some dishes are strongly tied to a festival or event. These dishes include:
- Botamochi, a sticky rice dumpling with sweet azuki paste served in spring, while the term Hagi/Ohagi is used in autumn.

Botamochi
- Chimaki (steamed sweet rice cake): Tango no Sekku and Gion Festival.

Chimaki

Sekihan

 - Sekihan, literally "red rice", is served for any celebratory occasion. It is usually sticky rice cooked with azuki, or red bean, which gives the rice its distinctive red color.

To sum it up, let me tell you a few words about the benefits of Japanese cuisine. Japan is an island nation, its people eat a lot of seafood. Their food is always fresh, and rich in nutrition. These dishes don’t contain a lot of saturated fat, but are high in vital nutrients, and they are rather satisfying. That’s why the Japanese can simply control their weight and, it can also decrease their chances of having a heart attack in later time. They improve their eating habits, that’s why, nowadays they are better equipped to deal with the stressful lifestyle.

      The Japanese food has influence on the amazing Japanese Longevity!!!

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