Kade kneels next to a stream formed by the San Francisco Glacier, about two hours outside Santiago, Chile.

Monday, February 2, 2015

The Pursuit of Deliciousness

By nature I tend to gravitate to the positive.  I try to find the best in things. Yet, I realize that in making judgments about places or people or circumstances, which I still do fairly often, the fact is, what we think about objects and situations may just boil down to a very limited perception with scant demonstrative evidence to support our claims.   Emotions, prior experience, personalities, indoctrination, age, education level and values are just a few factors that can influence a person's opinions on a wide variety of subjects.  This happens a lot when you travel.  Before I took off for Japan (in 2000), I remember my mother telling me that "so and so" in Headland (Alabama), who had been to Japan a few times, said the food was not very good.  And it indeed, to him, it might not have been. What I learned, though, from my time in Japan, their cuisine is not only good, it's exceptional. And it's far more than sushi!  I didn't discover this all at once, of course.  It took a bit of curiosity, interacting with American expats and especially connecting with locals.  If you want to get to know any culture's food, you must show interest in the people.  At the end of the day, when you're traveling in a foreign land, to have the richest experiences, it requires trusting the locals and letting them show you what's good.  This formula has worked over and over for me.

Here's an example of a Japanese dish that I immediately loved, Sukiyaki - incidentally, a very flavorful dish that the average American would LOVE.   How 'bout that for irony?
Kana w/ her parents

Beef Sukiyaki

To read about my first experience in Japan just four years earlier, click here.
For my food experiences in Northern Japan, click here
And for a dish I specifically sought in Hiroshima, click here.

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