japanese cuisine

The mention of Japanese food brings to mind the picture of a rice bowl, sea food and chopsticks. Japanese cuisine is very traditional and is not meant to serve every palate. There is a noticeable lack of meat in their cuisine, which led to minimal use of spices. This gives way to a lot of vegetables and seafood. It may be bland or tasteless to some, which is the reason why it doesn’t whet every appetite. The presentation of the food and the delicate balance in flavours is the most important factor in Japanese foods.

About Japanese Cuisine

Japanese Cuisine is known to be heavily inspired by the four seasons. The Japanese Cuisine is broadly categorized into Kaiseki, Shojin and Bento Cuisines. “Kaiseki” literally implies meeting, specifically a meeting of “haiku” poets. Kaiseki Cuisine itself branches off as “Haiku” or “tea ceremony” types, though they are often confused. The “Haiku” type includes hors-d'oeuvres, soup, broiled, steamed, stewed, fried, pickled foods and “muko-zuke” which is sliced raw fish. This type of Japanese cuisine focuses on foods that aren’t formal or ceremonious. The "tea-ceremony type kaiseki" cuisine encompasses lighter meals. “Shojin” cuisine is primarily meant for Zen-Buddhist meetings. “Shojin ryori” is based on vegetables and was introduced right along with Zen-Buddhism. It is famous for soybeans foods like tofu and vegetable oils. “Bento” in Japanese refers to lunch, which means Bento cuisine is the lunch affair that has a certain air of formality about it, unlike the tea ceremony. It is essentially a compaction of Kaiseki cuisine down to a single meal.

Japanese Cuisine History

Japanese cuisine has evolved over time and has been influenced by Chinese and Korean cuisines. The Japanese picked up the rice growing from Koreans while China introduced wheat, tea, soybean and chopsticks, all of which make up an integral part of the Japanese cuisine. Religion has also had an effect on Japanese cuisine because with the arrival of Buddhism and Shinto religions, meat of mammals was forbidden. This caused a lack of breeding of cattle for feeding purposes and so Japanese foods focused on seafood. This made seafood popular, which led to what is now one of the most common Japanese dishes – sushi, which is essentially created by fermenting fish in rice. The lack of dairy products in Japanese cuisine was also bred from the lack of cattle.

Japanese Cuisine Worldwide

As Japanese cuisine lacks spices, it is rather bland, but there are people all over the world who like it. The most common and well-liked Japanese foods worldwide include rice - boiled or fried, with or without curry. Sushi, tofu and various other foods with vegetables or seafood are also popular.

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