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Sensational Japanese food

By HannahThursday 22nd February 2018

Blast your taste buds with new foodie sensations on your trip to Japan. Here are just a few of the things you may come across.

 

The colour purple for long life

 
 
The people of Okinawa are famous for their long lifespans, and have the highest number of centenarians in the world. One of the superfoods they swear by is the benimo purple sweet potato, which is rich in antioxidants. They eat it a lot and you can too, in benimo ice cream, fries and even doughnuts.
 

Eat famous noodles

 
 
Many people visit Fukuoka for its Hakata Ramen, a noodle dish made with boiled pork bones. The best place to try it is at one of Fukuoka’s yatai street food stalls, which are open at night. Locals often round off an evening of drinking with a dish of noodles, so you can too.
 

Sample black pork

 
 
Okinawa is famous for its black agu or shima-uwa pigs, a rare breed with a low birth rate. It produces meat with a delicate smell, light fat content and sweeter taste, and so is much prized. Pork features highly in the Okinawan diet and they eat almost all parts of the pig, including the face, feet, stomach, tongue and ears. Some popular dishes are rafute, slow braised pork belly with brown sugar, soy sauce and awamori, salted pork belly known as suchika, thin slices of pig’s ear called mimiga, and tebichi, or simmered pig’s feet.
 

Ice cream that’s not really ice-cream

 
Aisukurin is a frozen snack popular in Kochi that looks like ice-cream but isn’t. It’s made from eggs, sugar and skimmed milk, and is very low in fat, so has a crunchy texture like shaved ice. You can buy it from street-side stalls, mostly in the popular banana flavour, but with other flavours available too, such as strawberry or matcha green tea.
 

Alcohol with an extra bite

 
 
Awamori is a spirit found all over Okinawa, made from rice fermented with a special type of black mould. One type of awamori known as habushu incorporates the entire pickled body of a venomous habu viper, and is said to increase the virility of those who drink it. Not for the faint-hearted, the snake probably doesn’t appreciate it either.
 

Nagasaki fusion food

 
 
Nagasaki’s food has been influenced by a fusion of cultures. Shippoku is a traditional, Nagasaki style of dining that entails a round table adorned with many dishes of Chinese, Japanese and Western origins. Nagasaki is also famous for its Nagasaki beef, oysters, seafood, American-influenced sasebo burgers and castella, a moist sponge cake originally brought to Japan by Portuguese merchants.

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