In Japan...

"Hey, is that a ninja up there?"
(Japan, Aug 20 - Sep 19, 2011)

November 25, 2010

Food, Part 1: shopping, cooking, Thanksgiving

So it is Thanksgiving Day in America, so first and foremost a big shout out to all the fam: I miss you all and look forward to seeing you soon. Normally on Thanksgiving you partake in a feast the likes of which are not seen during any other time during the year. The most important thing however is that you are with family or friends. I have neither of those things at the moment, so here is a little look at what I have been eating.

I have been trying to cook for myself often; normally the cheaper option but Japan is expensive. Turns out fruit and vegetables are just as expensive as meat, and the meat is pretty good over here (as is the seafood, but apart from the odd fish I'm not going down that road).
*One large apple - £1.50
*Small package of a dozen green beans - £2.50
*Pack of half a dozen small onions - £3.50
The only thing that I have found cheaper over here is tofu. Thankfully I like tofu. My dinners for 3 weeks have consisted of some type of noodle with minimal stir-fried vegetables and meat or tofu. Apart from the price and my poorly-stocked apartment, it has been enjoyable actually. I have slowly been accumulating cooking supplies but at this rate I will have all the basics just in time for my departure. One thing is for certain, I have levelled-up my chopstick skill beyond belief!

Now most of you know that I'm a trim gentleman with a fast metabolism. Therefore this noodles-with-minimal-sauce-and-meat diet equals one rather peckish boy. This leads us to sweets. Traditional candy bars and anything resembling gummy sweets are extortionately priced (and if you know my addiction to Snickers Duo you could understand how troubled I have been). This leaves only the unsatisfyingly hard Japanese sweets and curious baked goods. Solution? See below.

/milk chocolate GhanaBaumkuchen

First, Milk chocolate Ghana, a very oddly-named but tasty chocolate made by a Korean company, for less than £1! Secondly, what has been getting me through most nights (and for 3 days, breakfast)...the effortlessly soft loveliness of Baumkuchen. Literally meaning "tree cake", this strangely popular dessert in Japan has a very high ratio of butter and eggs contained within, so it is a deceptively filling treat. The "gentle sweetness" does not begin to describe this golden ring of concentric rings of cakey bliss.

So, as I have once again contracted severely swollen glands and a poor appetite, my Thanksgiving dinner tonight shall be fried yams and miso soup. Thanks Japan!

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