Japanese cuisine has a very long history

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JAPANESE CUISINE
Japanese cuisine has a very long history, but the time that it can be said to have come
into popularity was during the Togonowa Shogunate in the 17th century. During this time,
Japan was not known for its foods. Japanese food wasn’t as good as it is today and there was
not much of it to go around. One of the most important things that changed this situation was
the modernization of Japan beginning during the late 1880s when it opened itself to the outside
world. Japanese cuisine has been influenced by other food traditions from different countries,
but Japan has refined all these traditions to create its own taste and unique cooking style.
One of the countries that significantly influenced the current nature of Japanese cuisine
is China. The Japanese learnt to cultivate rice from China. The use of chopsticks while eating
and the use of soy sauce also originated in China. Later after, consumption of meat was
prohibited by Buddhists who introduced dishes made from fish and rice. During the 1800s,
vegetarian foods were a popular recipe in Japan. The foods were divided into groups and taste
classes by chefs in different restaurants who still use these clusters today.
During the 1200s, potatoes, corn, and sweet potatoes were added to Japanese cuisine as
it mixed with the Portuguese and the Dutch. It was the Portuguese and The Dutch who fried
food which the Japanese reinvented into fried tempura. A new frying technique was
immediately introduced to match the increased ingredients. The frying technique was known
as â??tempura,’ and it became very popular among the Japanese. By the 20th century, Japanese
cuisine was incorporated by ice cream, coffee, bread and other western foods; but despite the
incorporation of all these foods, Japanese cuisine has still managed to maintain its unique
tradition in one of its most cherished foods (Hays, 2013).
Some of the unique characteristics of Japanese cuisine that have evolved through the
tides of time include its use of high quality fresh and raw products. During the preparation or
cooking of Japanese cuisine, the Japanese refrain from cooking using non-perishable products
with an exception of sauces and rice. Other products used are a variety of seafood. While the
Japanese prepare the Japanese cuisine, they strive to maintain the original taste and appearance
of all the ingredients. This is the reason why Japanese cuisine is distinctly different from Asian
cuisine (Hays, 2013). The main cause of this is that Asian people always change the ingredients
or products during the process of cooking which makes it very difficult to identify the different
ingredients used.
During the serving of Japanese cuisine, there are specific decorations which put in the
food and tables. The kitchens in Japan always emphasize on an aesthetic appearance of food
and serving tables. This is a common tradition that is still used during the modern days. The
Japanese are used to eating a large variety of foods but in very small portions. This seems like
the common trend that is used when serving Japanese cuisine; in small bits. While eating
Japanese cuisine, people rarely use spoons. Some of them use their hands to eat, but the most
common method of eating Japanese cuisine is through the use of chopsticks. Knives and forks
are not used at all. Therefore, most of the meals are always cut into smaller pieces to allow the
use of chopsticks while eating.
Most people assume that when they hear the name â??Japanese’ mentioned, all they think
about is â??sushi all day and night.’ But Japan is more than just sushi and chopstick, what makes
their food so good is their ability to finely blend tradition with a few other cultures from foreign
countries and make it seem like their invention. Some of the things that make Japanese food so
â??Japanese’ include their environment and diet, their relationship with rice that they have
moulded into more of a need than a necessity, their sense and understanding of season, and
most importantly, their tradition which reflects on everything they do; from preparation stage
to the stage where it is served on the table (Hays, 2013).
References
Asian Recipe. (2018). Japanese Dining History | Asian Recipes. Retrieved from
https://www.asian-recipe.com/japan/japanese-dining-history.html
Hays, J. (2013). FOOD CULTURE IN JAPAN: HISTORY, MANGA, COOKING SHOWS,
EATING CONTESTS AND PLASTIC FOOD | Facts and Details. Retrieved from
http://factsanddetails.com/japan/cat19/sub123/item1858.html

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