Have you ever thought or noticed how the anatomy of a Japanese meal is? For those who do not know anatomy is the structural organization, you may have noticed that Japanese dishes, the way they eat and the culinary art is quite different from Western foods. In Brazil we simply fill the plate with food, mix everything and eat. In Japan this is quite different, so it is worthwhile to do a little study.
We are not going to generalize and say that in Brazil or in the West we simply fill the plate with food, without any aesthetics or order. In restaurants for example, we are served with a light appetizer, then with main course and then dessert, this is an organization. Our diet is based on rice, meat and beans in addition to leaves and vegetables. O Breakfast common is bread with butter and coffee, sometimes a delicious cheese or bread roll.
The traditional Japanese meal
In Japan things are served separately. The traditional Japanese meal is served in small bowls separating cooked rice from other dishes. A soup, which is usually the miso soup comes in a separate bowl, where we can gently drink it directly from the bowl or with a ladle. Things like fish, meat and salad can come with rice or in separate bowls.
The noodles, soba and somen can come separately and pure, to be dipped in a sauce or for you to mix manually with other foods. Rice is most often the main dish. The side dishes are called okazu. The most common okazu are high in protein like grilled fish or meat.
The most common way of eating a Japanese meal and taking the bowl in your hand and using the chopstick. Occasionally, you put the rice bowl in and have some soup. Dessert is not usually a tradition of Japanese meals. Most times a meal ends with a cup of hot tea. Japanese people usually eat sweets for lunch or other times. Of course, the influence of the West has changed these customs, while Japanese breakfast usually has rice and fish, nowadays many eat bread or a basic snack.
The art of Japanese cuisine
Some think that the Japanese eat a lot of food, due to the amount of bowls, options and dishes in a meal. Others believe that the Japanese eat little because the bowls are small. The Japanese usually eat the meal slowly in order to enjoy and do well.
Traditional Japanese cuisine is an art, we can see it in the way sushi is made, in the obentos prepared for the students and in various Japanese inventions and dishes. This difficulty in preparing and separating Japanese foods makes thousands of Japanese resort to restaurants that are cheap and there are thousands of options. Many Japanese families do not want to have all this work and resort to faster and cheaper options.
It is sad to imagine that if we search for Japanese cuisine on google we find a lot of pictures of sushi. I like to end by making it clear that Japanese cuisine is much more than sushi. Japanese people eat sushi just as in Brazilians we eat pizza and hamburgers.