Controversial Food Practices as Seen in Anime

One sometimes experiences cultural clashes / conflicts in regards to personal taste while watching anime.

It’s not really out of the ordinary, to be fair. Everyone has different tastes when it comes to food (and anime and romantic partners and music, but I digress). Yet sometimes a character will do something when it comes to food and it might cause viewers (who do not live in Japan or in Asia) to become a bit perturbed.

Don’t worry, I’m well aware that anime shouldn’t be treated as a completely accurate representation of Japan. But we all watch tons of anime, right? For some of us, it’s our primary source of exposure to The Land of the Rising Sun, which is why this particular post focuses (or at least attempts to focus) on anime.

And thus, the following excerpts show 3 such practices which come up in anime every so often. Tread carefully if you have sensitive taste buds.

Putting Bread in the Fridge

So this one isn’t really shown in anime all that much. It’s not really much of a cultural thing that is exclusive to Japan / anime, either since I personally know people who put bread into the fridge. Namely my family members. Everyone else, including myself, thinks that storing bread in the fridge compromises the integrity of the loaf/slice/sandwich/bun.

This one has been on my mind for a very long time, but seeing Sakura specifically mention that her father stored his homemade bread in the fridge (in Cardcaptor Sakura Clear Card-hen episode 10) finally gives me an excuse to bring up this random topic.

Are you really sure, Sakura?

Notice that I said they store the bread in the fridge. I’m fine with shoving a loaf into the freezer if it’s about to go bad. That way I can preserve it and keep it somewhat edible. All I need to do is defrost the loaf and then it’s basically good to go!

Why are you so excited, Akiho? Sakura’s father has totally ruined the bread!!

I stand by the opinion that sandwiches should be stored in the fridge if and only if they contain meat. After all, meat is really perishable, right?

Your mileage may vary when it comes to peanut butter-and-jelly sandwiches. Jelly definitely benefits from being colder, but the quality of your bread slices may also be negatively affected. It’s really give-and-take in this particular situation!

Edit: I have been made aware that freshly baked bread that was made with no preservatives go bad quickly, so I guess putting such specimens in a fridge make sense. Still not to my liking, though.

Making Use of Raw Eggs

How do you like your eggs?

Some people insist on firm and thoroughly-cooked eggs in order to minimalize the risk in being infected by salmonella poisoning. Runny eggs are not allowed!

Others will inuldge in eggs-over-easy or even brave sunny-side-up eggs. They’re so fearless!

But what about dipping your meat and veggies in a bowl containing a raw egg? How about cracking a raw egg over a bowl of rice and mixing it all up with soy sauce?

How many of you can crack an egg with one hand? I can barely pull it off. It’s my one good trick in the kitchen.

Well, the former happens in Yuru Camp episode 11 when the girls get together to enjoy sukiyaki. After cooking up a pot full of delicious goodness, the gals all crack an egg into a bowl and start dipping the mushrooms, the tofu, and the beef into raw egg mixture before chowing down.

Would you eat with fingerless gloves on, by the way? I guess it gets cold when you camp outside during Christmas Eve, so it’s understandable…

I’m pretty sure some of you feel nauseated just reading about this.

To be honest, I tried eating tamako gohan back when I was a broke college student who had just watched Hataraku Maou-sama! That’s when you mix up a bowl of rice, a raw egg, and soy sauce so you can eat a large serving of golden rice.

Apparently this happens in Silver Spoon, too. Haven’t gotten around to watching this one yet, though.

My mind was all for it, but my body was rejecting the idea as I forced myself to eat raw egg mixture while trying not to gag. It was good, but I probably listened to one too many paranoid rants against salmonella poisoning and was subconsciously affected. I’d like to try tamako gohan again one day.

No, Not Natto!!!

It looks like alien spawn and smells like something that has gone rotten. But some anime characters will happily eat it up for breakfast! They’re all very brave.

Stay strong, Wilhelmina.

I… have only had natto with curry at CoCo Ichibanya. But that’s sort of cheating since the curry sauce / divine savoury nectar can make anything taste good. Heck, the wasabi-filled takoyaki I had at Nishiki Ramen wasn’t that bad, either.

With that being said, I haven’t been able to handle this delicacy that could be considered to be an acquired taste. I’m planning on trying again soon, though! I’ll probably fail again but it’s the thought that counts, right?

If you also plan on giving natto a shot, then please make sure to stir it all up first. That seems to be mandatory!

Sooo this totally wasn’t a top 3 list.

At any rate, it’s now your turn. What are a few cultural cuisine practices you see in anime that leave you feeling conflicted?

27 thoughts on “Controversial Food Practices as Seen in Anime

  1. Think the closest ive come to having raw egg is in the UK they have this drink called snowball? Like a cocktail with advocaat in made from eggs not a fan!
    The eggs on the rice looks nice in boy and the beast if you’ve seen that film 😀. Heard natto smells particularly unpleasant though would be curious to try it 😄!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Whoa, that sounds like quite the intense drink, to be honest!

      Oh, I didn’t get to see that film, but I really go see it. Thanks for the reminder.
      Yeah, it’s so… foul and rank, to be honest. But smelly food could be good, too…?


  2. I’m fine with raw egg (over rice, in desserts, added to smoothies, whatever) and realistically the risk of salmonella isn’t that high (compared to other food preparations you might eat) provided proper sanitation has occurred.
    And bread must be refrigerated in summer in QLD, Australia. Leave it out and it will be only fit for throwing out the next morning. If the bugs don’t get into it and eat it, the 40 degree heat of summer will wilt it, bake it solid (not joking about that one in the very middle of summer and tooth breaking bread is not my idea of fun), if left in plastic cause it to grow mould almost instantly, or generally just be unfit for human consumption. Put the bread in the fridge so that it will last until its best before date – or at least a close approximation.
    That said, the general idea of bentos with meat in them kind of causes me pain when I watch it in anime. Again, I live in Australia, and you don’t travel with meat unless you have a major ice-box in tow. The thought of a student having a box of food in their bag containing meat without proper refrigeration actually makes me shudder every time.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I wish I could nonchalantly eat raw eggs like you. It is very admirable. It seems safe enough if properly cared for, but maybe it’s a mental thing at this point.

      Wow, Australia is unforgiving. I guess bias arose in this post since I usually only have to deal with mild temperatures.

      It’s quite alarming to see the meat in the bentos just sitting there without refirgeration, yeah. That’s the REAL controversial issue I should have been writing about.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. In fairness, if I didn’t live in the desert and actually lived on the coast like most Australians do, I probably wouldn’t have to deal with mummified food (don’t even ask what brown sugar looks like if I leave it in the pantry over summer).


  3. My understanding with eggs is that the risk of salmonella is less in the egg itself, but rather with the shell being compromised. I have friends who own pet chickens, and they’ve told me that you need to thoroughly wash the shells before you cook with them. And of course, commercial eggs are always sterilized before they’re sent to market. But if the shell is clean and not cracked, and you keep them properly refrigerated, then the risk is extremely low – it was estimated in the 1990s that something like 1 in 20,000 eggs might contain some salmonella internally (which can only happen if the hen has salmonella bacteria in its ovaries that gets passed into the egg before the shell forms). Safety standards and salmonella testing procedures in the US have gotten even more rigorous in the last 20 years, so the odds are probably even lower now, but even 1 in 20,000 means that if you ate two raw eggs a week, every week, you’d hit a bad one on average about once every 192 years. I eat eggs almost every day, usually soft boiled or sunny side up, and I’ve never gotten sick from one.

    As for bread, my Mom always puts bread in the fridge, but I never have. I didn’t think it tasted as good that way, so I stopped doing it when I moved out on my own. Occasionally I have to throw away the last few slices of a loaf because it starts growing mold before I can finish it, but that’s usually if I’m careless and let moisture get in the bag.

    I’ve also seen some people disagree about whether to refrigerate soy sauce, but that’s another thing my Mom does that I don’t.


    1. Ah, reading you logically defend the cleanliness of eggs gives me hope and enables me to retort against people who completely reject runny eggs. Thank you for that.

      Mmm makes sense. My mom does that with bread, too. But it seems like “natural” bread goes bad much quicker and humid places mandate the use of fridges to keep the bread edible. Good thing you and I can afford to choose when it comes to the latter, it seems.

      Ah…yeah, same situation when it comes to soy sauce for me, too.


  4. The bread thing, I don’t like it either but I’m forced to have it cold and firmed up due to my mother not wanting mold and such to grow onto. I mean I’ll still eat it or toast it if I really wanted to but overtime I’ve gotten used it to

    Ah this talk of eggs makes me jealous since I’m allergic lol. Raw eggs and rice doesn’t particularly sound like a good meal, but I’d be open to try it if I could.

    Not sure if this was ever shown in anime but I heard the Japanese tend to peel the skin off a lot of fruit before eating, even ones that you wouldn’t expect them to peel like grapes. Oranges and apples I can get, but grapes are so small, just eat em! I guess the chemicals and whatever’s on the skin can make the Japanese somewhat paranoid, but I just thought that was an interesting thing 😛

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Mmm. I guess it can’t be helped.

      Dang allergies. Raw eggs and rice make for an interesting meal to say the least. The heat from the rice does cook it a bit, though.

      Oh, yeah, my mom used to do that. But she’s not Japanese. Pretty weird!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. That depends on your climate… Here I can leave my homemade bread on the counter for three or four days in the winter. But in the summer, yah, you get a day and a half maybe two tops. The result is that I don’t bake bread in the summer. Putting homemade bread in the fridge dries the bread out *and* stiffens the protein structure… so it’s just not edible at that point. (Storeboughten bread reacts differently because it has conditioners and stabilizers in it.)

    Eggs, yah. And it’s no so much a cultural thing between the East and the West as it is the safety-at-all-costs paranoia that has arisen in the US over the last couple of decades. When I was a kid (60’s-70’s), we happily ate raw cookie dough. Nowadays, even though the odds of getting sick are actually lower than back then, people treat raw eggs as though they were nuclear waste.


  6. I’m with you on the bread in the fridge thing… Bread only belongs in a fridge or freezer if it’s going to go bad… and then, it’s just not as good as when it was nice and fresh.
    The egg thing?? Well, I guess I’m one of those fearless people. Lol! I LOVE overeasy eggs and I’ve cracked egg into rice, you have to do it right away though and the heat from the rice actually cooks the egg pretty well. It’s not actually eating RAW egg. That, I’m not into. Lol!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Mmm glad we agree on bread.

      Haha, so courageous!

      Yes, the heat from the rice cooks the egg pretty well. Same with cracking one into ramen. Not sure I can eat it raw like in Rocky, though, haha.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. This is simply cultural differences Remy my fam!
    I do exactly what anime does for the first two points and no I have never tried Natto in my entire life.

    If you have ever seen a real fresh bread made with no preservatives, they will legit go bad within a day and a half if not put inside a fridge. The fridge will help the bread go past even its best before date while freezer will obviously keep them for as long as you would like.

    I have once eaten a chicken that I bought a year ago. It had been in the freezer for that long and I had no problem.

    Cracking raw eggs into anything that’s hot is very normal for Asians, in fact it is encouraged when instant food tend to give very little nutrients other than carbohydrates.. ew.

    While I personally don’t go with raw eggs, I boil some meat to go with my instant noobles instead.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Ahaha raw eggs.
    Well, I don’t eat eggs, so whoops.
    That said bread in the fridge? Never tried that nii-san…..
    My favourite of all anime food is ramen ^^

    Liked by 1 person

  9. TIL that sunny side eggs (aka just “fried eggs” over here in uncultured Britland) are “brave”. It’s just kind of the default way to serve them here, we don’t really do any of the other common ways like over easy and suchlike. My wife does a mean scrambled egg, mind you. And I’m good at a boiled egg with dippy soldiers.

    Never tried raw egg in the ways you describe but I’m not especially averse to the idea. Might have to try tamago gohan sometime just for curiosity’s sake.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh, that’s just my usual throwaway line that’s partially sarcastic and meant to represent an opinion that doesn’t align with my own. It’s really more of a jab at the angry and scared people in cooking videos who leave comments about salmonella poisoning. I love runny eggs!

      Dippy soldiers? Will have to consult Google. Quit confusing us yanks, please.

      Mmm hopefully it’s to your liking.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. these kinds of cultural differences are always interesting. i watch cooking shows a lot, so the egg thing isnt too surprising (im in the runny egg camp myself). america tends to be a lot more conscious of salmonella than most other places ive seen. the “egg yolk on top” thing is pretty common in korean foods too. and i think most non-american countries dont store eggs in the fridge.

    for the bread thing, im probably more inclined to shove it in the fridge. im perfectly aware that this dries out the bread, but i cant be bothered to defrost bread. i dont make homemade bread often, so it’s generally irrelevant anyway. ive never tried natto myself, but i reject most foods that people claim are “acquired tastes” (looking at you, durian). i imagine i wouldnt take to it

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m all for runny eggs, too. The people who say otherwise are a bit too paranoid or close-minded in my opinion. Funny how a lot of America seems scared to death about salmonella, though.

      Ahhhh!! At least you’re aware of the sacrifice you’re making..

      Yeah, natto and durian are peas in a pod as far as I’m concerned. Could go into a logical extreme pointing out coffee and beer mighr be considered acquired tastes for those who hate bitterness, but I don’t have time for that.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. yeah, ive never looked into the incidence rate, so i have no idea how founded those fears are. i dont think id have a problem with raw eggs if they were served to me, but i dont use raw eggs when i cook.

        when i cook bread, i make small quantities that i eat pretty quickly, so it’s not a big deal 😀

        to be fair, i dont particularly like coffee or beer either.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. This isn’t really a controversial practice, but it always bothered me how shiny meat looks in anime, especially in Ghibli movies. Everyone hypes up how Ghibli food looks but the meat always looks slimy to me!!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I had a butadon in Akihabara that came with a raw egg on the side, I mixed it through the dish and it was delicious but I do admit the texture of raw egg white takes some getting used to!

    Natto, I don’t really get, it just doesn’t taste good to me and the slimy strands all get caught in my mouth – guess it’s something you have to either grow up eating or develop a taste. But then again I live in Australia and we put vegemite on nearly everything and some people think THAT’S gross, so it’s all very culturally based.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Mmmm sounds delectable! Oh, you’re definitely right. It’s quite slimy!

      Natto is a mystery to me, too. Never had vegemite but it does sound interesting according to Wikipedia. Hm… But I think you’re right about cultural upbringing and influence!

      Liked by 1 person

  13. This is such an interesting topic of discussion. I store bread in the fridge too per my husband’s request (read: Asian influence). I never thought about how it compromises the bread since we always toast it.

    I’ve never had raw egg or natto. The idea makes me queasy. The golden rice you made especially had me gagging just reading it. Like you said, I’m sure it might taste fine but my brain would convince me otherwise.

    Thanks for the interesting post. You should absolutely expand on this in a part 2!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Ah, he’s in that camp, too. Well, I think it might be safe if you toast it? I would say it is but I’m not certain.

      Haha, sorry about that. Making people nauseous early in the morning isn’t my goal! But yeah, those are what take some getting used to for many, many Americans, I imagine.

      No, thank YOU for stopping by. Hmm, I’ll consider it!

      Liked by 1 person

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