Bento Box Quiz

by Jake Jacobs
10 October 2010

Jake Jacobs

I am sometimes asked if I "like Japanese food." This is, if you know anything about Japanese food, a bizarre question.

Imagine if someone asked you if you like "American food," and you began to mentally catalogue "American" food: pizza (with all its variety), burgers, mom's meatloaf, fish sticks, spaghetti and meatballs, Rueben sandwiches, Philly cheese steaks, chimichangas, tuna casserole, lamb chops, chop suey...

Some of those, spaghetti, for instance, may have originated elsewhere, but spaghetti is unquestionably part of the American diet. It is part of the Japanese diet as well. Kenji once told me he had taken an Italian to one of the many Japanese restaurants that specialized in spaghetti, offering a hundred varieties, more than the Italians ever dreamed of. Did you know that there is a restaurant in Tokyo called House of Mayonnaise that uses mayonnaise in every dish, including its Bloody Marys?

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