When in Japan, the host orders food for the group who are then required by the rules of social etiquette to eat whatever fare this person selects. During Grandmama’s visit, I was sure to order japanese specialties which never fail to disappoint when one’s goal involves watching the reaction of table occupants. We started with a dish that Offspring #1 and Andretti-san crave.
Note to self- when the sign pictures octopi, it’s probably a predominant ingredient.
Filled with octopi, topped with bonita flakes, mayonnaise and a takoyaki sauce tasting suspiciously like BBQ sauce, this dish is a love it or hate it. I hate it therefore, I strongly encouraged Grandmama to try it. She obliged by digging in with her usual gusto.
A promise of a boon to the taste buds lured Grandmama to the next table top delight.
Instructions for eating- the whole thing.
Offspring #1 plunged in biting off the head and torso in a show of gastric machismo. Grandmama inspected hers carefully and decided it was best filleted. OS#1 was surprised to see the insides oozing out once she was finished with the dissection having not seen any in his fish to which Grandmama replied,” You ate yours in the first bite.”
This course was followed by a mystery substance which left us sporting green goatees no matter how masterful the user of chopsticks.
We all passed on this dish while on a visit to Yokohama Chinatown-
and marvelled at the size of this dried fin- about 5 feet tall.
Grandmama craved a dish called sunomono- thinly sliced cucumbers served in a vinegar sauce. What we learned as the dish was set before her is that sunomono can be served with a variety of ingredients. Hers consisted of tiny fish about half an inch long each surrounded by a casing of gelatinous organic material. No one asked for a taste. Grandmama earned an “A+” in chopsticks as each fish oozed between the tips when gripped causing her to chase each potential bite around the plate.
I know many of you are feeling sorry for poor Grandmama, abused and taunted by her oldest daughter, to which I respond with “Payback is Hell.”
And for the entertainment of all of us, please post your most “challenging” meal – we’d love to see pictures….