08.17 An Edo-Tokyo Culinary Timeline 3 (1836 to today): Black Sh...

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08.17 An Edo-Tokyo Culinary Timeline 2 (1757 to 1836): Edo Goes ...

Around 1757 Street stalls selling tempura begin to appear. The vendors come up with an ingenious, though not exactly environmentally-friendly solution to cooking with hot oil in a city built entirely of wood and paper. They were located besides the river. In the event of conflagration the whole lot, flames, oil, fish, veggies, wooden hut was despatched swiftly into the watery depths. I am not cond...

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08.17 An Edo-Tokyo Culinary Timeline 1 (1603 to 1756): Soba From...

1603 Tokugawa Ieyasu founds the Bakufu government. The construction of Edo begins. The Nihonbashi Uogashi riverside fish market is constructed to feed the builders and thence residents of Edo Castle. On the other side of the world, King James 6th becomes King of England. 1614 A monk visiting the city from Kyoto reports eating soba buckwheat noodles in a bathhouse in the vicinity of Tokoin Temple i...

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08.17 A Brief History of Japanese Cuisine: Edo And Food, Overvie...

A brief period of vigorous international exchange with the West took place during the early Edo period (1603 to 1867), until Shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu grew wary of the growing influence of Christianity on Japanese society, and stamped his policy of national seclusion on the nation. Chinese businessmen had been trading with Japan for centuries, and the Portuguese had come bearing their kasutera sponge...

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08.17 A Brief History of Japanese Cuisine: Edo, An Introduction

There's a Japanese saying: Edo no rekishi wa junintoiro. Tachiba ni yotte mattaku. “For every ten people, there are ten versions of Edo history." As so it is. No-one however disputes the fact that the Edo period (1603 to 1868) was crucial in the development of the nation. Tokyo, as the city is known today, owes much of its identity and outlook to  events of 400+ years ago.

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08.17 Flavorings and Seasonings: Mirin, Ritual Drink Turned Hous...

IMirin is used extensively in Japanese cuisine, and is most often referred to as ‘sweetened sake’ although as Professor Richard Hosking, the author of A Dictionary of Japanese Food, most accurately points out, it isn’t – it is the liquid formed from a mash of glutinous rice mixed with komekoji malted rice and shochu liqor.

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08.17 The Sweet Course: Wagashi Sweets, Snacks & Desserts

In may seem as if much wagashi, Japanese traditional sweet confectionery, is designed as much to be looked at as eaten, such is its visual attractiveness and evident craftsmanship. Traditional Japanese sweets are not of the Sunday-treat, cavity-inducing variety, but rather are designed for offsetting the bitter taste of the sencha Japanese green tea used in the tea ceremony. The craft of making wa...

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08.17 The Fruit Platter: Watermelon, Strawberries, Ume Sour Plum...

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08.17 A Brief History of Japanese Cuisine: Kofun And Asuka Perio...

Kofun era kitchenware collection. Photo by Sabashio, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

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08.17 A Brief History of Japanese Cuisine: Formal Feasting And C...

Heijo-kyo, the Big Feast and, yes... Cheese

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08.17 A Brief History of Japanese Cuisine: Enter the Yayoi Rice ...

Yayoi era rice farmers. Photo by Yuya Sekiguchi, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

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08.17 Condiments And Flavorings: Wasabi Japanese Horseradish

These days wasabi Japanese horseradish has made it onto the global culinary stage, but beware, beware, beware. Like may of the finest things in life - art, diamonds, narcotics, banknotes, Buddhist statuary - for every genuine item there are countless fakes and pale imitations, peddled by mercenaries rogues out to relieve you of your precious coin. So it is with wasabi.

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