As I promised last week, my post for this week will be about Japanese Food Culture.
A characteristic of Japanese cuisine is that seasonality is emphasized. A good Japanese chef prepares artistic dishes with fresh, tasty seasonal ingredients that he finds at the moment.
There are many benefits of eating seasonally. Foods are tastier and more nutritious in season, and their abundance grants economic advantage. Eating seasonal food is also healthier since the natural cycle of produce is perfectly designed to support health requirements; less pesticides and synthesized fertilizers are required for food in season.
Consuming seasonal food also help build harmonic environments at home and in community, which is emphasized and appreciated by Japanese people as well. The variety of seasonal food encourages households to create home-made dishes base on available ingredients, and the communication at dining table is essential for a happy, harmonic family. Purchasing fresh seasonal food at local farmer’s market links people in the community together. The invisible chain between customers’ support and farmers’ reputation ensures food security.
Eating seasonally also makes environmental sense. Less chemicals are required for the growth of seasonal food, and our food requirements are less responsible for contamination of water and degradation of soil. Fresh seasonal food is more likely to be found locally, and thus “food mileage” is reduced, and less petroleum will be consumed. [10 Reasons to Eat What’s in Season]
Seasonally is so deep-rooted in Japanese food culture that it is more of a philosophy than convention.
… eating seasonally is about more than just taste; it’s about deepening awareness of there and now, about building a deep texture into life that goes hand-in-hand with the progression of the cycles of nature. [Quote]