A Taste of Summer: Konatsu

柑橘類 (kankitsurui): citrus fruit When I go grocery shopping, I always check the discounted produce cart for deals. Sometimes the fruit there is overripe or about to expire; sometimes it’s just a bit bruised. Last week, I found a few bags of 小夏 (konatsu; literally little summer) that seemed to be in great shape but just…

We’re All Rooting for You: Tohoku Zunda Kitkats

郷土料理 (kyôdo ryôri): local cuisine My local Family Mart never has interesting KitKits, but this weekend, I stumbled upon something special: Zunda KitKats. I had just seen The Food Librarian‘s post on zunda, too– what luck! Zunda is a specialty of Tohoku (northeastern Japan), more specifically Sendai. Usually served on or with mochi, zunda is…

The Apple Chronicles, Part 3: Very Lemony Apple Jam

手作り (tezukuri): homemade I was a bit wary of posting my jam recipes, because I don’t feel like I’ve perfected the jam-making process. This jam, adapted from Food in Jars‘ “Honey Lemon Apple Jam,” tastes amazing, and I think the recipe is fairly solid. That said, I’m not an expert on making preserves in Japan,…

Iwakuni Renkon Soba

3. Soba Noodles Made with Lotus-Root もちもちつるつる (mochi-mochi tsuru-tsuru): springy and smooth (texture) (usually used separately, but the ad for the noodles uses both in combination) Looking back on all the places I’ve lived, the two things that make me happiest about a residence are farmers’ markets and quaint historic districts with locally run businesses….

The 100 Flavors of Iwakuni

2. Iwakuni Ice Cream As a child, my favorite dessert was ice cream. Even though I celebrate my birthday in winter, I was going to have my birthday ice cream and enjoy it, dammit, even if my birthday party got canceled for a snowstorm. My favorite flavor was chunky strawberry, which is also delightfully out…

Golden Week is For Foodies: Iwakuni-zushi

型枠 (katawaku): mold (for shaping things) This Golden Week, a friend and I finally ventured out to southwestern Honshû to see Hiroshima. I’ll be doing a separate post on all the tasty things we ate in Hiroshima City and Miyajima, but I wanted to start out with some of the dishes we had on our…

Stuffed Zucchini

日常的な食物(nichijôtekina shokumotsu): commonly eaten food I grew up in southern Ohio, and like most Midwesterners, summer was a time of ridiculous amounts of zucchini. By the end of season, everyone had so much zucchini that you would practically pay people to take it off your hands (or just give it out for free at work)….

Spring is Here: Na no Hana (Brassica napus)

緑黄色野菜 (ryokuôshoku yasai): leafy greens, yellow-green vegetables high in beta-carotene After a cold winter that was only matched in length by the irritatingly hot summer that preceded it, spring has finally come to Hokuriku. The supermarket is filled with spring vegetables, but the easiest and perhaps most inoffensive one (least bitter) to prepare is na…

The Apple Chronicles, Part 1: Applesauce

「しゃきっとみずみずしい果肉をしている」(shakitto mizumizushii kaniku wo shiteiru): to have a crispy and juicy flesh (of fruit)(alc.co.jp) One of my favorite apples grown in Japan is the Jonagold. The flesh is crisp and sweet, and the skin is a gorgeous gradation of reds and yellows. This week, however, I have been pushed to the culinary limit by my…