The seasons, AND HARMONY IN the JAPANESE TABLE
The alpha and omega of Japanese cuisine – dishes according to the season. Sometimes it is not less important than their cooking. The concept of seasonality in the Japanese culinary tradition is first and foremost the use of the products at the time of the year when they are particularly tasty. For example, tender, crispy, with a pleasant aroma bamboo shoots (which generally play an important role in the national culinary tradition) – luck dishes of the spring season. Lotus root is revered seasonal food in spring and autumn. From time immemorial happened that fried eel best restores strength during the heat. There was even a special day when they ate the fish. According to the lunar calendar he was about the middle of July. Seasonality is also reflected in the compulsory decoration of the dishes the characters at different times of the year. For example, in a stuffy hot summer, let the white cold noodles boiled in a frame of fresh leaves of red Perilla beckons with coolness and stimulates the appetite. Autumn dishes are decorated with red maple leaves, pine needles, chrysanthemum flowers, and carrot or radish are cut in the same shape of maple leaves. By the way, some Japanese chefs specialize in “production” of colors of vegetables. From slices of radish, carrot, pumpkin, they create a selection of iris flowers or roses that look like live.
In addition, each season presents its form of fruit, vegetables, fish: winter – tangerines, autumn – persimmon, summer – trout. Emphasizes seasonality and the table setting. For example, in the fall and winter months on the tables in restaurants make little bowls with small pebbles that have small colorful paper or straw parasols. This is a remake of the Japanese life of a peasant: wear capes from rice straw and reveal the straw umbrellas in bad weather.
In strictly regulated for centuries, Japanese life could not but receive the ritual table setting. Here nothing is given to share the occasion. Many dishes, carefully designed and matched, beautifully laid out, different size plates, saucers, and podnosilac in cups, designed specifically for a particular dish. Hence, even now a popular stamp that Japanese dishes are prepared more for the eye than for food. The same can be said about the dishes for sake. It is served in small clay or porcelain jugs without handles, and in which is warmed, and drink from a small pile, and some varieties are made of small square wooden boxes, which definitely indicated the name of the restaurant or varieties of sake.
In serving the Japanese table is very widely used japanned ware dark tones
Most of the dishes typically eaten at room temperature (only the soup and rice is definitely hot), so they are served on the table all at once. In the Japanese setting, like the European, has its own rules. For example, rice is put to the left, the right soup, the main dish in the center. Left, right and a little behind the main dish is placed different marinades and pickles. Sauces and seasonings come right from dishes, for which it is designed. Hasi (which is put on a special podstavochki or podnosniki that they are not touched) the facing toward the left end, which take food; dessert and tea complete the meal.
The Japanese like to give the names of exotic dishes. For example, fried cuttlefish referred to as “pine cones” because they are like shiny pieces roasted; meat dish in foil is called “silver shoes”; frothed grated turnip “clouds turnip”; made from chicken meat and egg dish called “parents and children”. Recently appeared a special canned sauce for Italian spaghetti under the intriguing title “a Paradise for food”. In addition, the recipes can be found such words as “Fox tail”, which means Golden-brown crust.