Thursday, February 9, 2012

Day 15 – Weirdest food item you’ve seen, and weirdest food item you’ve actually eaten.

Surprisingly, I haven't really eaten anything that weird while being in Japan. I've had smelly things like natto and uncomfortable looking things like whole fish heads on platters.... but I suppose the oddest things I've eaten and enjoyed are these two: Horse Sashimi and Motsunabe (intestines hot pot). Okay, so that's pretty weird but... I think Japan has thrown off my sense of the "abnormal" and my reality has become slightly skewed since living here.... ("weird" in my mind equates with eating things like: house hold pets, pigeons and insects...).

Unfortunately, the tasting of these two foods does not come with the most entertaining of stories. I tried horse sashimi when one of my friends was trying to get her boyfriend to eat it some random weekend early last year. Since the place we were eating at (Hirome Ichiba) doesn't serve it that often, the sashimi came still-frozen and had to thaw for a little while. It wasn't terribly mentionable in flavor but the texture was nice. I'd still go for maguro or salmon over it anyday.

Motsunabe was something that my Japanese friends had wanted me to try for months and months so finally, one Tuesday night, we trekked out to the city and found a good nabe restaurant that specialized in motsunabe. Although the idea of intestines skives me out, I've picked up a certain stubbornness when it comes to food here in Japan. I hate when my Japanese co-workers and acquaintances ask if I can eat something or act like whatever food thing they are telling me about is only Japan and that it's sooo typical foreigner to not like it/not have tried it before. I get really defensive (because I've been using chopsticks since I was small, thank you very much!!!) and insist that yes, I CAN eat it and in fact I LIKE it/don't really care for it because of the flavor, not because I'm foreign (as if it wasn't obvious that Japanese people who don't really like natto/fish/whatever exist as well). Anyway, despite my little rant there, I was really surprised to find the boiled motsu soft and flavorful, not chewy like I expected (since intestines have a lot of fat on them). It's also such a simple nabe and contains little more than the broth, motsu, green onions, bean sprouts, cabbage, and tofu (we added some dumplings for extra~).

What weird things have you guys eaten? Am I missing out on anything out there?!

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