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Tag: food

Sticking cheeseburgers through soft drink straws now a thing on Japanese Instagram 【Pics】

My pick for the SoraNews24 article this week is this confusing culinary delight: Sticking cheeseburgers through soft drink straws now a thing on Japanese Instagram 【Pics】.

When I first saw this popping up on Japanese sites, I immediately knew I wanted to write about it. It’s just so bizarre, but also so simple that anyone could do it themselves. Not that I could really see why anyone would want to.

There’s so many questions here: Aren’t the burger bits stuck in the straw gross? How do you get the burger through the straw in the first place? Do you push the straw through it? Then how do you line the straw back up into the drink? Maybe you slam the burger like you’re impaling it through a spike? But doesn’t that make a mess? And, of course, what are the advantages of doing this at all?!

If you’re a brave soul willing to try this yourself, I’d love to hear some answers.

Featured image: Instagram/im_mmoe

W.T.F. Japan: Top 5 Japanese foods for people who don’t like seafood 【Weird Top Five】

This week for my SoraNews24 W.T.F. Japan article, I wrote about the top five Japanese foods for people who don’t like seafood.

Pretty much every time I tell someone that I live in Japan, one of their first comments is something along the lines of: “Oh you must enjoy such great food! Fresh fish, sushi, sounds like heaven!”

And it would be… if I liked any of those foods.

Unfortunately I’ve just never liked seafood, and when I first came to Japan I was worried that I’d have to live on a diet of nothing but vegetables.

Of course that’s not the case, and since I’ve been here I’ve found that there is a whole beautiful rainbow of Japanese food that has never been anywhere near the ocean.

So to help any others out there like me, here’s a list of great, authentic Japanese food you can get while in the country, broken down by restaurant type from easiest to hardest. Good luck, fellow unfortunate picky eaters!

 

Read the article here.

W.T.F. Japan: Top 5 Japanese spring foods 【Well-Fed Top Five】

This week for my SoraNews24 W.T.F. Japan article, I wrote about the top five Japanese spring foods.

I’ve previously done the top five autumn and winter foods, and people seemed to enjoy those articles, so why not continue with the season where stuff actually starts to grow back out of the ground again: spring!

The spring foods article is probably the most unique one yet. While a lot of foods in the autumn and winter lists probably look familiar to those outside of Japan, there are a ton of spring-only food items that would baffle people around the world.

What are these mysterious Japanese spring foods? Only one way to find out!

Read the article here.

W.T.F. Japan: Top 5 biggest Japanese food challenges 【Weird Top Five】

This week for my RocketNews24 W.T.F. Japan article, I wrote about the top five biggest Japanese food challenges.

Originally I wanted to do my article as the “top five most dangerous Japanese foods,” but after doing a little research it turns out that actually dangerous food in Japan is extremely rare.

In fact the #1 spot on that last would have been mochi, soft and squishy rice cakes, which hospitalizes/kills some people in Japan every year. But almost all of those cases are elderly or extremely young children who just didn’t chew it well enough, so anyone with a properly functioning mouth would be in basically no danger.

With the rest of the items on the list being even less exciting, the topic was changed to “biggest food challenges” instead to hopefully present some items that are a bit more interesting.

So what are the hardest/riskiest foods in Japan to get down? There’s only one way to find out!

Read the article here.

W.T.F. Japan: Top 5 Japanese winter foods【Well-Fed Top Five】

This week for my RocketNews24 W.T.F. Japan article, I wrote about top five Japanese winter foods.

Back in October I did the top 5 Japanese autumn foods which people seemed to like, so it was only natural to follow that one up with a sequel.

Interestingly enough, for me personally the #5 item on the list is my favorite, and the #1 item on the list is my least favorite. I don’t want to spoil what they are, but I could probably eat #5 every day, and I dread being served #1 on a certain day of the year.

But hey, enough with the vague references to food!

Read the article here.

W.T.F. Japan: Top 5 crazy awesome features of Japanese restaurants 【Weird Top Five】

This week for my RocketNews24 W.T.F. Japan article, I wrote about top five crazy awesome features of Japanese restaurants.

I think I’m different than a lot of people in that I really, really don’t like going out to eat. In fact it’s something that I really don’t understand about other people. Let me explain with a list of the reasons why, in my opinion, going out to eat is usually miserable:

  1. It costs more (usually way more) than if you made it yourself.
  2. You may not be full afterward (can’t just go to the fridge and get more).
  3. It may not be prepared the way you like it (under/overcooked, something nasty mixed in).

Yes, I understand that there are some benefits of going out to eat (no cleanup, you can eat food you couldn’t prepare yourself, etc.), but in my personal opinion those pale in comparison to the three items on the list. Why would I want to go somewhere I have to pay more, may not leave full, and may not even like what I get? For atmosphere? Please. If I need atmosphere, I’ll go skydiving.

But all that changes in Japan. I really don’t mind going out to eat in Japan because most restaurants address those three issues like this:

  1. There’s no tips, so the meal is at least 20% cheaper.
  2. Most places offer some free food refill (rice, bread, cabbage) so you’ll leave full.
  3. Realistic 3-D plastic food samples so you know exactly what you’re getting.

It’s remarkable how much of a difference those three small changes make. And it’s not just those either. The whole dining experience from start to finish is always just less awkward, more relaxed, and overall more pleasant in Japan.

Why? Well go ahead and read the article to find out!

Read the article here.

W.T.F. Japan: Top 5 Japanese autumn foods 【Well-Fed Top Five】

This week for my RocketNews24 W.T.F. Japan article, I wrote about the top five Japanese autumn foods. I’ve been wanting to do a few articles about food here in Japan, but none of them really felt “weird” enough to be part of the “Weird Top Five” series.

My editor suggested I just change the “W” to stand for something else for a singe article, so after a lot of soul-searching and Google-searching, I came up with “Well-Fed” instead.

The article is still similar in tone to my previous articles, but it’s a little bit different, so we’ll see how it goes. Maybe there will be more Well-Fed Top Fives in the future, maybe there will be none – it all depends on those sweet, sweet clicks.

So if you want to know what autumn is all about in Japan, check it out!

Read the article here.

W.T.F. Japan: Top 5 ridiculous details of Japanese office tea 【Weird Top Five】

This week for my RocketNews24 W.T.F. Japan article, I wrote about the top five most ridiculous details of Japanese office tea. Office tea may not be the first thing that comes to mind when most people think of Japanese businesses – formal meetings, bowing and business cards probably come before that – but it’s just as important.

Tea is basically lubrication for Japanese business like oil is lubrication for a car – it just doesn’t run without it. When I worked in a Japanese office, every meeting no matter how big or small had tea served to the guests. Whenever me or my coworkers went as guests to somewhere else, we were always served tea as well.

It may sound strange to the uninitiated, but it was kind of nice. Not only were you guaranteed a refreshing drink (cold in the summer hot in the winter) whenever you were going someplace, but it made you feel more welcome than if you just sat down and got right to business.

I don’t want to spoil too much more of the details of Japanese business tea, so go ahead and read the article before I accidentally spoil everything. Enjoy!

Read the article here.

W.T.F. Japan: Top 5 most offensive Japanese swear words 【Weird Top Five】

This week for my RocketNews24 W.T.F. Japan article, I wrote about the top five most offensive Japanese swear words. As an armchair linguist, I find swear words fascinating for two reasons: (1) they’re the first words in a foreign language that any student wants to learn, and (2) I can’t believe that so many languages have words that are “forbidden” or “unclean.” I mean, they’re just words!

As far as (1) goes, I think a big reason students clamor to learn swear words is for two reasons: one, it gives them some “bad” vocabulary words to use that other people won’t understand, and two, it gives the language a grittier, more authentic feel. Rather than learning how to say “I’d like three apples please,” you’re actually learning some “real” words that people use when you learn swears.

I remember in high school one Spanish teacher told her class that the best way to pick out a dictionary (before the days of internet dictionaries and smartphones) was to look up the worst swear words you could possibly think of. If it had them, great! If it didn’t, move on to another. I can’t vouch for how effective that method really is, but it did make shopping for new dictionaries a lot more fun.

So if you’re a swear-lover like I am, maybe you’ll enjoy the article. And if not, well, maybe you can learn to love them after seeing how silly it is that certain sounds in another language are considered “taboo.” Enjoy!

Read the article here.

W.T.F. Japan: Top 5 crazy things about Japanese supermarkets 【Weird Top Five】

This week for my RocketNews24 W.T.F. Japan article, I wrote the top five crazy things about Japanese supermarkets. Having recently returned to living in Japan after being in the U.S. for several years, I was shocked by all the things I had forgotten about the Japanese way of food shopping.

Whenever we think about different cultures, we tend to focus on stereotypical differences: temples/shrines in Japan, kangaroos in Australia, wine and cheese with every meal in France. But when you actually go to the country itself, usually it’s the smaller things that really make it feel foreign.

Like grocery stores, for example.

I’m always glad when I can do an article that hones in on those smaller differences and brings them to light. There’s little chunks of juicy cultural tidbits hidden in those small differences, and exploring them is always a lot of fun.

I don’t want to spoil any of the items on the list here, so be sure to read the article if you want to see what’s different about buying food in Japan. Enjoy!

Read the article here.