Japanese Asagohan – Is Japanese brekky Big?
A friend was in a conference in Madrid and later told me about how awful the breakfast there was. Then we started talking about breakfast in different places.
He insisted that the breakfast served in the bars in Madrid is horrible. I won´t argue with that. First, for me the food is design, the presentation is quite important because I believe that you enjoy the food visually, too.
Once a housemate back then wanted to have a dinner with only a candle light and she lit a few candles. For her it´d make a nice intimate atmosphere (not with me in this case) and I can agree with it, however I couldn´t taste a thing and as another housemate felt the same, we had to ask the girl to switch the light on. The girl thought we two didn´t appreciate the mood but we simply needed to see what we were eating to enjoy the taste.
I love breakfast, probably the most favorite dish in the day. To have a good start, it cannot be unpleasant. So when my friend commented about horrible brekky in Madrid, I immediately thought about Japanese breakfast I ate most of the time at home.
Anyone who has stayed in ryokan (旅館/Japanese style hotels) may know that Japanese breakfast is huge. And most of ryokan even bring you this to your room. You might think that this is special because you are in ryokan.
It´s not necessarily you are in a hotel.
This natto is a quite controversial not between Japanese and foreigners but also between Japanese. To be honest it stinks and has a slimy taste. No wonder people hate this and I wouldn´t dare insist anyone to eat this if they don´t want to.
Inside Japan, in western part people don´t tend to eat natto, although I´ve heard there are some hidden natto-lovers over there. But I must say that if you can´t like this, you are missing a good bit of the life, hahaha. I mean, I love natto.
So the breakfast in my parents´ house would be like this, more or less.
Of course we eat other things. Some may have only a coffee, some have toasts or cereal, or perhaps just fruits and yoghurt.
So, my parents changed toasts to corn flakes which was even worse.
What happens to the corn flakes after soaking in the milk about 3 minutes?
They all go soaky and become a flop of light brown stuff and I couldn´t even smell it.
Oh, how many times I cried for not needing to eat that thingy. By the way, I still can´t eat corn flakes with milk.
So how is Spanish brekky then? Like this,
The croissant isn´t a croissant as far as I know of. It´s a dough in a croissant shape. It doesn´t taste butter nor has that light crunchy texture.
And look! A fork is stuck in the middle of the croissant!
Actually, this hadn´t happened to me when I had a breakfast in the bars. But this, I don´t see any love for the clients. Oh, if you like a warm one, you can ask them to toast. But as they only have a sandwich griller, your croissant will come out flat. Well at least you´ll get a warm one.
Let´s try to wipe a disgrace of Spanish breakfast. In Cataluña, it´s common to rub fresh tomato on the bread. OK, this looks more cheerful compare to the one above which looks all gray and sad.
Yet, something missing. It´s always the same, little option to me. A baguett, tomato and cheese and jammon, or both. I can have this for a while than I will need more variety.
Comparing to the Spanish croissant, it was so good that I had them every morning while I was staying then, if it was every day, I would get bored after a few weeks.
Discovery of kippers in England was great. Nishin is the name in Japanese and it was one of my favorite fish. I like it a half dry, just grill it and a few drops of soy source. Hmmm, nice.
Unfortunately as I didn´t have a rice cooker in England, nor I had no energy cooking rice first in the morning, most of the time I had skipper with bread but it´s OK, I liked it. I even tried mackerel sandwich there.
Porridge was another my favorite brekky during the winter. A spoonful of honey and some fruits didn´t bore me. I guess because it´s similar to Japanese rice porridge that you can mix with different veggies as a topping.
You may think I just like fish and rice, but no. I think I like Japanese breakfast better because of its variety.
Basically we eat anything, most of the time the leftover from the night before. If we have curry for dinner, we eat curry rice for the breakfast.
I can understand that many people don´t have breakfast or even those who eat will find this too heavy to eat as soon as you wake up. I don´t blame you. I don´t know how I was managing this for years.
Mind you, I´m not good at waking up early in the morning. I was always half sleep,did everything automatically and most of the time I didn´t even know what I was eating. Even that, after having a sip of warm miso soup quickly ran through the vein and kicked my dreamy brain. I love listening to the sound of my mum cutting some veggie for miso soup in the morning. The sound of morning in Japan, the sound I heard in my bed every morning.
My parents still keep this tradition, a big breakfast whereas I don´t. Now my breakfast has changed into muesli, fruits and yoghurt. It´s good and I like it but just because this friend made a comment about breakfast, it reminded me how good Japanese breakfast is. Now I´m looking at my muesli bowl. Since when my breakfast has converted into just one bowl?