On our way out of town on Sunday, listening to the radio – this time a discussion of Japanese food. No, not some exquisitely refined product of Kyoto culture, nor the raw contents of a trawler net off Madagascar… but the kind of thing most Japanese eat most of the time: teishoku, yakitori, okonomiyaki… Which sauce is best with pork cutlet, whether you get free raw cabbage with it or not… there are big regional variations here, and a general East/West split, with the dividing line coming right through us, in Nagoya. It’s a bit as if the fish and chips in Blackpool and Brighton were made differently. (Maybe they are.) Japanese Low Cuisine is not bad at all in fact. Another thing that came up was the different attitudes of men and women to eating out. Apparently women want something quite different from the everyday – an Exotic Experience with unexpected flavours, decor and bgm, while men are more looking for an extension of their normal mealtime – just a bit more delicious than usual maybe. This would certainly account for why our South-east Asian restaurant has more female customers. It’s OK, but sometimes they seem to want a place to talk more than anything else; men order more food and drink in a shorter time, which makes better business sense, so maybe we need to be a bit less exotic…
On the way back to Nagoya we stopped off at a Brazilian shop in Kani to buy some beef. Early in the 20th century there was a lot of Japanese emmigration to South America, especially to Brazil and Peru, and when Japan’s economy took off in the 80’s the only “guest workers” allowed in in any numbers were those who could show some Japanese ancestry, so a lot of second and third generation Japanese-Brazilians arrived to work mostly in factories – the usual gastarbeiter sort of deal. Kani city has one of the biggest Brazilian populations in the country, and though the way things are now a lot have decided they’d be better off back in Brazil there are still a lot of shops run mostly by and for Brazilian immigrants. We drop in sometimes because for some reason the beef is cheaper and better than in the Japanese supermarkets – maybe they’ve found a crack in space-time that links back to Brazil somewhere. They seem amused that I don’t speak Portuguese despite my European appearance and we have to use Japanese as our lingua franca. Fair enough – this is Japan after all.
And what about the farm?
OK min. temp. 1°C, max 19°C