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Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Comfort Foods

I admit I am a picky eater. But I wouldn’t say I have comfort foods in the traditional sense; there isn’t anything I NEED to eat when I’m sad or depressed.
But I guess I do have comfort food, in the sense that I have a lot that I miss from America. And when I can get it here in Japan, I pounce on it.
Import stores charge a fortune for their goods, nearly twice as much, and sometimes more. And they can’t get everything. I don’t order much food from the internet. Truthfully because I have never really looked into it, plus I’m afraid of what the shipping costs will be, especially for frozen/refrigerated items.
So I content myself with Jupiter, the import store in Hiroshima. If I had pick my comfort foods based on what I have bought the most of from there, it would be: A&W Root Beer, Van Camp’s Pork and Beans, Hormel Chili, and Kraft Macaroni and Cheese. These might seem like everyday staples of a grocery store, but believe it or not they are almost nonexistent in Japan.
Almost every Japanese person I know hates root beer. It’s because the same flavoring it uses is also used to flavor medicine here in Japan. Hence their nickname for it, “medicine cola.” Chili is almost impossible to make due to a lack of dried beans (or almost any bean) in stores. You see where I’m going with this? I can deal with big social and cultural differences, but little things like the this, every day foods you’d expect in almost every country, is really fascinating. And sometimes frustrating.
I’m not a big fan of Japanese food. While I believe I fit in rather well culturally, and I think I’ve adapted nicely to Japan, food is the one thing I really cling to. I’m very “American” in my choice of food. My wife Westernizes quite a bit of our cooking and she likes Western food, but can’t eat it every day. But I’ll pick Western over Japanese any day. Give me tacos instead of okonomiyaki.
What about you, reader? Any comfort foods. Comment, like, or reblog. As always, thanks for reading.

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