Tuesday, November 17, 2009


A few months ago when my folks moved out of their house and put it up for sale, I had all their mail forwarded to my house. So now I receive the Mitsuwa Market ad every week or two or however often they publish it.

Much of it is written in Japanese so I have no idea what they are saying, but I do look at the pictures to see if anything on sale looks interesting. And what today's blog entry is about is how most of the time the pictures don't look very enticing to me.

Here's a picture of a portion of their latest ad (click to enlarge):

When I was growing up, my mom made Japanese food but not all the time. We would have rice nearly every day, though. There I'd be, putting ketchup on it some days, shoyu (soy sauce) on other days, and on the days when I didn't put either of those condiments on my rice, I used to sprinkle it with salt. Mmm, salty rice..

We'd have western food (including westernized spaghetti and other "ethnic" dishes like that) about 60% of the time and Japanese food the other 40%.

I had no problem when it came to things like tempura (I loved the shrimp; I would hide the tails under my plate so my mom wouldn't know how many I had eaten since she had imposed a quota) and teriyaki, the more common or mainstream dishes you see in the restaurants.

But when she made something that looked like what was in the above picture, I didn't want to eat it. I never did care for those things that came in pots! And, brat that I was, my mom would fix me a frozen dinner instead and I'd have an overdose of sodium and preservatives. She should have just made me eat whatever everyone else was eating, but she didn't. Now Greg and Katie are probably reading this and wondering why they had to eat whatever was on table and all I can say is, life ain't fair, haha.

So those of you out there who are of Japanese ancestry, let me ask you - do you think the dishes in that picture look yummy or do you prefer to abstain from them when you have a choice?

I just don't care for any "weird" food, based mainly on how it looks, and those dishes just look weird to me and don't smell all that great, either. I recall going to my grandmother's house each New Year's and being confronted with an entire table full of strange-looking dishes, none of which I would even attempt to eat.

A lot of it is how we are raised, I think. I didn't even want to try these things because of the way they looked and when my mom got me to taste it, I had already made up my mind that I wouldn't like it. Had I eaten those things from an early age, maybe I'd find them yummy now, but I'll never know.

It's like how Julie loves jellyfish and shark fin soup and pig knuckles/feet. Yuck. Jellyfish is like eating rubber bands; you might as well cut the teeth off of a comb and throw it in some broth because that's what shark fin is like, and I can't even think of anything to liken to pigs knuckles except I won't dare touch the stuff or even look at it. Some of those things that they show you when they lift the covers off the dim sum plates on the carts are simply indescribable and look like they come from alien life.

It's all relative, I guess.


donna said...

Your mom cooked a lot of Japanese food! I think our percentages were a lot lower.... maybe 3 out of 10 meals were Japanese. 2 out of 10 were Mexican and the rest "American" and "other." When Gma was living with us she cooked for herself and whoever and we kids got teriyaki hotdogs or any other substitute. I remember eating sardines and unagi in the can with her though and I won't willingly eat that anymore. As an adult, I will eat those things in the ad, but would prefer Mexican food. Pozole, rellenos, tacos, enchiladas, chilaquiles....

Rickie Miyake said...

Same here, I prefer Mexican food! Actually upon further reflection the ratio of Japanese to other food was probably lower, like maybe 25%. Old age, you know.. And I used to love eating those little sardines from the can back then! If I tried doing that now I would probably gag.