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Old 2004-06-02, 09:11   Link #21
Kyuven
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kj1980
On a side note, many Japanese people who visited America says that "everything tastes the same," "the stuffs are very 大味 (ooaji = blant?)," "they put way too much food on one dish," "I don't think Americans really care about Calories."

Anyone care to clarify?

On the other hand, an American that visits Japan and eats our stuff usually says "hmm...it tastes like chicken."

Is it me or are Americans' palate numb?
i'll address them in reverse order:
"It tastes like chicken" is a long standing cultural joke, i dunno how it started but it's a response a lot of americans give when they eat foreign food that tastes good...or not-bad
american food doesn't exist, 90% of all our foods come from other countries, usually brought over by europeans, and european food doesn't have the same seasonings or flavors that oriental food has (remember there have been WARS fought over spices!) so the food comes off a bit bland
i myself like sweet things, so a lot of food bothers me
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Old 2004-06-02, 12:17   Link #22
abubo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kj1980
Is it me or are Americans' palate numb?
I would say that based on my observations, American palate is simple, yet saturated. By simple I mean most American food consisted of basic flavors such as sweet and savory (saltiness), but you must have a lot of both. Most American sweets are unbearably sweet to non-Americans. A lot of American dishes, like chicken soup, are simply basic food items with a lot of salt. For example American pizza has a tons of very salty meats like pepperoni and rediculous amound of overtly sweet tomato sauce, yet a real pizza from Italy has very little of either. Out of the hundred of thousands of Chinese dishes, it's the ones that are sickeningly sweet which has become American favorites (Sweet and Sour Pork and General Tsao's Chicken), and to most Americans the only Japanese food they eat regularly are these ghastly version of Teriyaki smothered in a thick, sweet sauce that's just a remote imitation of the original. I would say that to an average Japanese like youself, many American food overtly saturated with a few basic flavors would taste the same.

The Japanese, on the other hands, has comparatively a very sensitive palate. Foods, especially seafood, are often desired when tasted in their original flavors. Soups usually has complex characteristics which a lot of non-Japanese, especially Americans, simply can't taste. For example, I read in some older manga (was it Shota's Sushi or something else) that the Japanese basically invented the 6th sense of taste (aside from 5 basic Chinese flavors of salty, sweet, sour, hot, bitter) of "Sen", which is the flavor of MSG found in Benito fish soup stock and "Aji no Moto". Most foreigners can't taste this, yet almost every Japanese can. Traditionally Japanese also aren't very found of stimulating flavors such as sour of hot either; witness how mild Japanese curry is compared to the Indian original. All this sensitiviy may have resulted in some foreigners, especially Americans, thinking Japanese foods are kinda bland.

Now this view of Japanese food isn't limited to Americans. I would say most Chinese and SouthEast Asians would say the similar things. In fact, in places like Taiwan where there has been strong Japanese influences, Japanese foods such as Oden has been modified to add more flavors. In Southern Taiwan you can find a version of Japanese dish Oden, yet this one comes with a very hot, Chinese-style dipping sauce, and the soup stock is heavier in flavors too. Thus although flavor is a very subjective thing, the Japanese palate seemed to have a uniqueness all to itself.
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Old 2004-06-02, 17:59   Link #23
Kyuven
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i'm still wondering if it's true, but i've also read (in Yakitate! Japan) that people who grow up on oriental foods tend to produce less saliva than westerners do (which makes sense, i notice that oriental cooking has a lot of dishes with water (i.e., lotsa soups and stews) and western foods, since they needed to be prepared to last a while longer than oriental foods (rice, a staple of oriental cooking, lasts a lot longer than many western grains...maybe because birds would eat grain but i've heard rice can cause birds' stomachs to explode ^_^ thus a lot of salts and spices are applied to make the food last longer. remember what i mentioned earlier, europe has fought wars over spices ^_^)
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Old 2004-06-07, 21:44   Link #24
ChoBaka
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kyuven
i'm still wondering if it's true, but i've also read (in Yakitate! Japan) that people who grow up on oriental foods tend to produce less saliva than westerners do (which makes sense, i notice that oriental cooking has a lot of dishes with water (i.e., lotsa soups and stews) and western foods, since they needed to be prepared to last a while longer than oriental foods (rice, a staple of oriental cooking, lasts a lot longer than many western grains...maybe because birds would eat grain but i've heard rice can cause birds' stomachs to explode ^_^ thus a lot of salts and spices are applied to make the food last longer. remember what i mentioned earlier, europe has fought wars over spices ^_^)
I grew up on Korean food, and it is very hot and spicy. Japanese food in comparison is a lot milder and more subtle. Korean food is flavored in the way you'd kill somebody with a turret machine gun. If by Asian food you mean Japanese food what you said sounds correct, but I know that Korean/Vietnamese food is spicy (Korean food in addition is usually also very salty), and Chinese food is also nothing like Japanese food.
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Old 2004-06-07, 23:08   Link #25
nephilim
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i love spicy food. i live in singapore, and got the chance to eat a variety of food. i would feel that spicy food comes from the indian/malay dishes, the salty food comes from western dishes. the chinese had quite a few mixes so i can't really categorize.

Ahhh my observations are based on the food i eat, not all food that we had here
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Old 2004-06-13, 21:42   Link #26
Lina Inverse
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChoBaka
I grew up on Korean food, and it is very hot and spicy. Japanese food in comparison is a lot milder and more subtle. Korean food is flavored in the way you'd kill somebody with a turret machine gun. If by Asian food you mean Japanese food what you said sounds correct, but I know that Korean/Vietnamese food is spicy (Korean food in addition is usually also very salty), and Chinese food is also nothing like Japanese food.
That's right. I absolutely love hot&spicy e.g. spicy instant noodles, very good!
Food over here is generally completely lacking spice So I have to help out using some Sambal Oelek, Sriracha or stuff like that

I think that "hamburger" is still better as a translation... above on the pics are clearly hamburgers for me, even if they're lacking the buns.
"Hamburger" comes from the German town "Hamburg" where it was first prepared (without buns).
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Old 2004-06-16, 16:50   Link #27
abubo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lina Inverse
I think that "hamburger" is still better as a translation... above on the pics are clearly hamburgers for me, even if they're lacking the buns.
"Hamburger" comes from the German town "Hamburg" where it was first prepared (without buns).
but the point was that it's not hamburger. It doens't taste like one; doesn't prepare like one, and never eaten with buns. It an invented Japanese-western dish, much like Omu-Risu (omlette covered ketchup-flavored fried-rice).
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Old 2004-07-01, 11:48   Link #28
hotsoup
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TOMATO TAMOTO!

Same difference....
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Old 2004-07-01, 12:38   Link #29
DigitalisAkujin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lina Inverse
That's right. I absolutely love hot&spicy e.g. spicy instant noodles, very good!
Food over here is generally completely lacking spice So I have to help out using some Sambal Oelek, Sriracha or stuff like that

I think that "hamburger" is still better as a translation... above on the pics are clearly hamburgers for me, even if they're lacking the buns.
"Hamburger" comes from the German town "Hamburg" where it was first prepared (without buns).
On an intresting side note I visited Hamburg a few days ago. They where running a marathon in the city at the time.

http://www.digitalisakujin.com/bin/g...5b06-27-04%5d/
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Old 2004-07-01, 13:36   Link #30
Itlandm
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Here in Norway, the only Japanese food that is known is sushi, and most people only know that it is raw fish. I will probably never taste any of all the great food my favorite anime characters wolf down every day. But that's OK because with sticks, I would not be able to get the food in my mouth before it spoils. ^_^*
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Old 2004-07-09, 18:24   Link #31
Thyrz
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Join Date: Mar 2004
Quote:
Originally Posted by K_R
Now that you've seen what hanbaagu look like and how it is served, I'm sure you'll agree that translating 'hanbaagu' as 'hamburger' is somewhat misleading...

(I sure don't evisage hamburgers looking like that...)
It's probably because they don't really give a damn, and neither do I :P
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