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.
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!
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?
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.
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.
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.
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?