Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Japanese Diet

Shortly before I travelled to Japan, I talked to a friend who had visited Japan last autumn. One of the first things she said was "Oooh, you'll see, you'll loose so much weight. I lost 2 kilos in 3 weeks." I found that a rather strange comment and with a raised eybrow reminded her that "we're going on a holiday, not a diet."

However, by the end of the two weeks my jeans felt noticeably loose so I decided to step on the scales when I got home. What can I say - I, too, had lost 2 kilos. Needless to say, I have fattened up again since, but it was still remarkable. I'm not sure if it was due to the healthy Japanese diet itself, the fact that I had eaten less chocolate there or because we were on our feet pretty much all day.
Be that as it may, I wanted to show you some of our culinary exploits.

Lots of Japanese green tea, obviously. We drank it both hot and "plain", in the form of matcha latte (sigh!) and as bottled iced tea, which unlike European varieties was mostly unsweetened and therefore much superior in taste in my opinion.
Japanese tea (onemorehandbag)Japanese tea with candied beans

We were particularly fascinated by the variety of great quality food available both at railway stations and on the (Shinkansen) trains:
Japanese train snacks (onemorehandbag)train snacks and bento boxes

Train feasts aside, we also encountered "proper" Japanese food in beautiful dishes with references to the current season, i.e. lots of maple-leaf shapes. The little teacup next to the sashimi doesn't contain tea, but a kind of mushroom broth (magic mushrooms?), by the way:
Japanese dinner (onemorehandbag)traditional Japanese goodies

We also made great friends with some western-style pastries in Japan, such as the ubiquitous Mont Blanc, a small cake covered with chestnut "noodles" and a candied chestnut: delicious!
Mont Blanc (onemorehandbag)


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