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Most Fascinating Cuisine


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8 replies to this topic

#1 prasad2

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Posted 27 May 2003 - 10:01 AM

Dear Mr.Sietsema




Given the fact of your awareness, knowledge and appreciation for all the distinct cuisines of the world, which do you find most challenging to cook and most fascinating to eat, review and why?

Thank you again....

#2 Tom Sietsema

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Posted 31 May 2003 - 06:30 AM

I have never been to Japan, and I regret that. Japanese is a very refined and complex style of cooking and I’d love to explore the topic more on its home turf. Ever heard the word umami? It’s the Japanese way of describing an ingredient at its very peak. No other cuisine that I’m aware of has such an expression. And there are many, many other examples of how this cuisine is so very different from other styles. Japanese food is shrouded in nuance and mystery.

#3 BBhasin

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Posted 31 May 2003 - 08:36 AM

I have never been to Japan, and I regret that. Japanese is a very refined and complex style of cooking and I’d love to explore the topic more on its home turf. Ever heard the word umami? It’s the Japanese way of describing an ingredient at its very peak. No other cuisine that I’m aware of has such an expression.  And there are many, many other examples of how this cuisine is so very different from other styles. Japanese food is shrouded in nuance and mystery.

you can, at numerous oriental restaurants pick out your fish from a tank and the chef will prepare it for you. My friend who worked for years in Kobe, Japan tells me about this craze for freshness where the the fish is netted and only one side fileted. The fish, still alive, is re-interduced into the tank with one side missing and you watch it while you dine on it!
could this be an example of umami?
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#4 Jinmyo

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Posted 31 May 2003 - 08:39 AM

could this be an example of umami?

No.

It's merely "savouriness" or "meatyness".
"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

#5 Tom Sietsema

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Posted 31 May 2003 - 09:38 AM

It could be.

Umami occurs with 1) an ingredient that is at its peak and 2) in a harmonious presentation. Or so the elusive quality was explained to me.

If that fish was at its meatiest best, it could have been a case of umami, but not necessarily.

#6 torakris

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Posted 31 May 2003 - 02:50 PM

Umami is actually a taste sensation that has to do with certain chemicals present in the foods. Not all foods have umami no matter how fresh they are. High in umami foods are red wines, cheeses, mushrooms, etc.
Like in said it is best translated as some type of savoriness.

the folowing is from my post on the daily nihongo thread:

word for 5/5:

‚¤‚Ü‚Ý

umami (oo-mah-mee)

there is no direct translation for this taste sensation which means something along the lines of "savoriness" or even "tastiness". It is difficult to describe, but foods like wine, soy sauce, mushrooms, aged cheese, etc are very high on the umami list.

for more information look here:

http://www.guardian....4459306,00.html


Japanese food (I think we are also talking mostly kaiseki style here) is very refined and the emphasis on freshness and presentation is taken to the highest level, and the Japanese sure know how to play the umami for all it is worth! :biggrin:

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#7 Pan

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Posted 01 June 2003 - 12:03 AM

you can, at numerous oriental restaurants pick out your fish from a tank and the chef will prepare it for you. My friend who worked for years in Kobe, Japan tells me about this craze for freshness where the the fish is netted and only one side fileted. The fish, still alive, is re-interduced into the tank with one side missing and you watch it while you dine on it!
could this be an example of umami?

Sounds like gratuitous cruelty to me! :shock:

#8 Tom Sietsema

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Posted 01 June 2003 - 03:59 AM

It certainly gives new meaning to "fresh", doesn't it?

The closest I've come to that scenario was when the live fish in a Chinese restaurant was flash-boiled for what must have been mere seconds: the entree was stunned but still breathing when it was served to the table.

#9 BBhasin

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Posted 01 June 2003 - 04:50 AM

It certainly gives new meaning to "fresh", doesn't it?

      The closest I've come to that scenario was when the live fish in a Chinese restaurant was flash-boiled for what must have been mere seconds: the entree was stunned but still breathing when it was served to the table.

Thank you Tom, you just ruined my breakfast. Its Its times like this when I do not envy your job.
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