Part 1 of 5
I realized I haven’t done a proper post on the different types of Japanese Food. Decided to do one for my dear readers in a 5-part series. This is part 1 of 5, Traditional Japanese Food.
Kaiseki cuisine is the ultimate style of Japanese food, and both the preparation methods and appearance are refined. Imbuing dishes with a seasonal feel and bringing out the natural flavors of the ingredients are very important parts of this style of cuisine. This means that only seasonal ingredients passing intense scrutiny are used for the menu. Some examples are springtime takenoko (bamboo shoots), autumn matsutake mushrooms, and early summer katsuo (bonito). Sometimes ingredients called “hashiri” that have been harvested before their seasons are included as treasured items.
Though each individual dish in the course is a small portion, the color and combination of ingredients, the way the ingredients have been sliced and used to decorate, and the tableware all express the aesthetics of Japanese culture. Hot foods are served while still hot and cold foods are served on chilled plates.
In fact, Kaiseki cuisine originally referred to the food served before receiving tea at a tea ceremony. A deep admiration of the seasons and warm thoughtfulness towards the customer reflects a sense of aesthetics that prizes tranquility and simplicity — the very spirit of “wabi” (a sense of purity in simplicity) treasured in sado (the way of tea)
Of course, the way of eating and etiquette are very important for this style of cuisine, but most importantly, relax and enjoy the flavor of the ingredients.
~Stay tuned for Part 2!~