Friday, December 09, 2005

Culinary Nastiness

I'd like to preface this article by saying that I am not knocking on Japan or Japanese culture by writing this.

It's just that people eat some NASTY stuff over here.

This is, I'm sure, a tired topic. Anybody and everybody who comes to Japan probably has their own "They eat that?" story.

All aboard the Culinary Nastiness Bandwagon!

Let me explain what triggered this post.

When I get up in the morning, I turn on the TV and watch the news while I eat my bowl of cereal for breakfast. At the end of the 7:00 hour, they have your daily horoscope. They rank horoscopes from 1-12, and the worst horoscope always gets an extra piece of advice to help them through the day. It's usually a lucky item of some kind. Not that I care about my horoscope, mind you, but they are entertaining to read and there's always some funny pictures displayed behind them.

Anyway, today's horoscope ranked Leos last. Oh, tragedy, whatever will I do. (That line is meant to be read in monotone.)

Then they displayed the luck item for Leos.

Shirako (fifth picture down) with ponzu.

Translated: fish sperm glands with a citrus vinegar sauce.


You would not believe some of the stuff that gets eaten over here.

Uni (pronounced oo-nee). Paste of sea urchin eggs. Sea urchin gonads.

Kanimiso. Crab innards.

Odorigui. The act of eating things while they are still alive. They "dance" (odoru) on the way down.

Hormone. Cow intestines, usually cooked up on a grill.

Sliced horse penis. NO LIE. I saw it featured on a TV show once.

Goat balls. An Okinawan delicacy.

Abalone (fifth picture down). Turban shell. Locusts boiled down with seaweed.

The funny thing is, most of this stuff is regarded as high cuisine.

The kind of special food you would feed a guest.

How do you politely turn down fried fish sperm when the host is looking at you anxiously for your reaction?

Sometimes I wonder if it's not just a mean trick that Japanese people play on foreigners.

"Here, Kiddo-san. Try this."

(Screams in terror)


Blogger Megan said...

That is SICK.

My grandmother used to make me eat traditional Irish food and I thought that was bad--I can still taste the crubeens she force fed me at age 11--but damn! Sliced horse penis?

I dare you to eat some and report back.

Saturday, December 10, 2005 1:03:00 AM  
Blogger Havok said...

Two words:



Setting aside the fact that the idea of eating horse penis, sliced or otherwise, is totally repugnant, my mother would disown me if I ever ate horse meat.

We used to own horses, see.


Saturday, December 10, 2005 7:47:00 PM  

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