Food, Glorious (Japanese) Food

Shibuya Travel Blog

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Random Observation/Comment #79: I love being on vacation. I literally have an erection just thinking about that sashimi (not literally).
I always feel a little guilty spending an obscene amount of money on food because, in the back of my head, I have this lingering survival thought that I eat to live. Whatever I eat, as long as it has calories and is balanced on that food pyramid, will get me through the day and keep me healthy for the future. I sometimes catch myself shoveling food into my mouth mid-chew in front of my desk while multitasking with doing homework and reading an engadget article, and I wonder – What have I tasted in this meal? It’s just a refuel to get rid of this hunger feeling, but do I have to inhale it? I’ve had the privilege of eating almost every type of food and remembering each taste in my mind clearly, but this mode is not always set to record.
I think there are just meals that I’ve eaten so much that my taste-buds are no longer impressed.
In Japan, the first few weeks of slowly chewing every bite and tickling every morsel with my tongue slowly faded. Udon, curry, and soba from the cafeteria were delicious, but every passing day made my mouth less moist and my day dreams about lunch less frequent. It was a routine that I loved, but took for granted. While I was slurping my noodles, I thought about New York style pizza and my specialty Chipotle burrito with half barbacoa, half steak, extra rice, both beans, tomatoes, sour cream, cheese, and (my favorite) jalapeno Tabasco sauce. Unfortunately, my thoughts about the other food while eating masked the taste. Now that I’m back in NY eating its pizza and other much missed treasures, I think about the Japanese food that left its itch on the tip of my tongue.

Statistics show that people who eat live longer. I live to eat. It may be true that I sometimes get distracted by my company or the other thoughts taking up my brain power, but there is that part of me that appreciates the intricacies of taste mixtures. I love Ratatooee’s representation of the tastes as fireworks-like twirls and explosions of different colors. It makes me try to visualize my sense of taste and explain the distinction of sweet, sour, bitter, salty, and tangy. I found the little connections in my mind, but it never manifested itself into an image. For some reason, when I tried to picture the taste, I was clouded by all the other complexities with texture, consistency, and composition. Individual chews would release different juices absorbed by every side of my tongue.
While tossing and turning the different pieces in my mouth, the mixture of senses combined into a unique experience. I couldn’t concentrate my tongue to maintain a specific taste for more than a second, but I think that was part of the enjoyment.
I mention this love for food because I had one of my best meals at a sashimi restaurant near Asakusa. It was the freshest seafood I’ve ever had and every piece’s unique experience still hovers in my mind. It reset my standards for “good sashimi” and spoiled me. This fish was so good that it was mean. I was teased. Every passing bite reminded me that I probably won’t taste something this good for a long time (similar to my glances at Japanese short shorts and high boots). I hung onto the feelings as long as possible – we held hands and strolled down an empty beach while staring into each other’s eyes. You’ll always have a place in my stomach.
~See Lemons Love Sashimi

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