Thursday, February 3, 2011

Japanese Food Culture: Shun, Washoku, and Seasonal Dishes

So it's a New Year, how is everybody enjoying it so far?  Though this entry was supposed to coincide with the beginning of the year, my overwhelming new schedule for school and the gym, paired with my chronic procrastination, brings this entry to you around the Chinese Lunar New Year instead of January 1, as originally planned.  Regardless, this is my first entry of 2011!  Happy New Year(s)!  As we learned last year, the New Year is one of the most important holidays in Japan, and signifies a fresh beginning.  So let's begin with an entry about freshness.

This entry is actually fulfilling a request made of me by a friend of mine, whom I was talking to when I got the idea for it.  We were discussing popular snacks in Japan, and I went off into a tangent, like I do, and started going on about seasonal foods and the importance of traditional Japanese thoughts and aesthetics when it comes to eating, and she seemed interested to know more, in entry form. 

Perhaps to shut me up and give me something to do, more than anything, though she specified that she wanted a lot of pictures, so I've gathered a lot of them.  So while this entry will be photo-heavy, I'll try to keep the droning history lesson to a minimum (as much as I possibly can while getting the point across).

So please enjoy a brief synopsis of the thought process behind Japanese cooking, the significance of seasonal foods, and a multitude of photos depicting both, hopefully informing and entertaining you just as much as it makes you hungry!