Japan Delicacy Poster, 24x36, Zen Circle Background
Located in the Pacific coast of East Asia, Japan is an island nation that rely heavily on fish and seafood over centuries. While you can easily find fresh and delicious seafood near the coastline, some seafood is specially famous in one region over the other. For instance, the city of Sakai Minato 境港 is where you can find exquisite snow crab due to the region's plankton-rich seafloor environment. It is so delicious that the crab remains one of the prides of Japan!
Although sushi originated from fermented fish and rice, Edo Mae Sushi is especially popular with invention of serving fresh fish on "vinegared" rice. As the name suggested, "Edo Mae" means Tokyo Bay, (was named when Tokyo was still called Edo) you will still find this type of sushi in Tokyo from convenience store to upscale sushi restaurants.
Although many delicacies are found in high-end restaurants, most specialties are not luxurious and can be found everywhere in town. For example, there is a gyoza city in Japan called Utsunomiya 宇都宮. The city is so famous for their gyoza and overwhelmed with 200+ gyoza specialty shops! As you walk around the city, you will literally see gyoza statues everywhere too!
Delicacies from Japan have been spreading to the western world in a very rapid pace over the past decades. However, as I travel more and more between the US and Japan, I realized these specialties are especially famous in one region over another for good reasons! Fundamentally, most of these delicacies remain local due to its geographical, cultural, and historical influence.
The northernmost island of Japan is Hokkidao Prefecture, where there are plentiful of fresh, flavorful, and high quality seafood. Other than the colder climate in Hokkaido that is nurturing fish with more fats, the Pacific Ocean current near Hokkaido also brings in lots of rich nutrition for the sea animals. The region is famous for their tuna, squid, salmon roe (ikura), sea urchin (uni), scallops (hotate), hairy crabs, etc.
There are actually many tales and legends of horse eating in Kumamoto. With the over-abundance of horses after World War II, horse eating became a natural response when combining their circumstances with local myths. Also known as 桜肉 sakuraniku, literally "cherry blossom meat," today 馬刺し Basashi (horse sashimi) is a very common dish in Kumamoto.
In the city of Morioka, there is a nearly-400-year-old tradition of challenging bowls and bowls of bite-size buckwheat noodles called わんこそば Wanko Soba. "Wanko" means bowls in the local dialect and soba is simply buckwheat noodle. [Source] Other than experiencing Wanko Soba in a local restaurant, the city also hosts annual competitions to continue their tradition of Wanko Soba.
One of the finest and beautiful things about Japanese delicacies (or food in general in Japan) is their exquisite presentation! While this is one of the many reasons why I fall in love with Japanese food, I wish to introduce these Japanese specialties to you with its most native and local way as if you are visiting the city and being presented with the dish in front of you!
From my own experience traveling to Japan, the way these dishes were prepared and layout were no joke! Chefs and staffs pay absolute attention to details with the food they proudly serve!
Each city has its own noteworthy specialty food and delicacy. We might not be familiar with their food name or even what it is. That's why you will not see only the illustration but also city name in both English and Japanese, food name in Japanese (hiragana/katakana and kanji), and a quick introduction/description of this dish.
Printed in USA