Tag Archives: food

Unpopular Opinions

We all have our likes and dislikes. Most of the time, people have likes and dislikes that are pretty common. But sometimes, we may have some unpopular opinions. Let’s start with some literary ones:

  • My favourite fantasy series is Terry Brooks’ Shannara series. That’s probably not a very common opinion. I just love the series.
  • My favourite science fiction series is Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonriders of Pern series. Many people think it’s fantasy, but it’s not. I will argue that it’s science fiction, because it is! But I doubt that it’s a common favourite.
  • I loved Shakespeare in high school. Pretty sure most people didn’t like it.
  • My favourite book read in school was The Chrysalids, by John Wyndham. Despite the blatant deus ex machina, I really enjoyed this book!

And now for some non-literary opinions.

  • I love Marmite. Really. A lot.
  • I loved Star Trek: Enterprise. Well, mostly. A lot of people thought it was the worst series, but I enjoyed it a lot, and I wish it went the full 7 seasons.
  • I enjoy earthquakes and typhoons. Weird, huh?
  • I can’t stand crab and lobster. I love shrimp, but I don’t want to touch their bigger cousins.
  • I hate tomatoes so much, I can’t eat pizza that has tomato sauce. It’s just gross.

Anything surprise you? How about you? What are some likes and dislikes of yours that are uncommon? Let me know in the comments below.

Ever Eaten Raw Beef?

Happy Valentine’s Day! Ever eaten raw beef? Of course, Valentine’s Day and raw beef have nothing to do with each other, do they?

In the above picture, you can see sushi. The bottom row is tuna and salmon. The middle row is red snapper and shrimp. But the top row is beef. That’s right, beef sushi. The salmon tasted excellent. The tuna was very good. Shrimp and red snapper were also very good. But how was the beef? Well, it had very little flavour. I’ve tried raw beef before, and I remember that it was rather flavourless. It gains its flavour when it’s cooked. I probably won’t have beef sushi again.

Unlike pork and chicken, it’s safe to eat raw beef. It’s unlikely to carry salmonella. And this is why it’s popular to eat rare beef.

Have you ever tried raw beef?

Authors Answer 86 – Authors Eat Weird Food

Everyone has their favourite foods. But sometimes, there are some unusual foods that we like, but most people would never touch. Authors are no different, of course. That’s what we’re talking about this week.

Before we go into the answers, I just want to take a moment to say that this is Allen Tiffany’s final month with us at Authors Answer. Thanks for contributing for the past year and a few weeks!

320px-Modern-ftn-pen-cursiveQuestion 86 – Is there an unusual food or drink that you love?

Linda G. Hill

I used to say eel, but since I’ve started eating a lot of sushi, that’s not very unusual anymore. Marmite is apparently something not a lot of people enjoy. Does that make it unusual?

Gregory S. Close

This isn’t really that unusual, but I really enjoy pizza with a combination of sweet and spicy flavors.  Pineapple/Jalepeno topping on a normal pizza is always good, and I also enjoyed pizza with buffalo wing sauce as the base with pineapple as the topping.  Years ago people thought that was weird, but these days I think it’s more common to play with sweet and savory combinations on pizza.

Also, I’m a vegetarian now, but as a kid my favorite food was squirrel.  Yes.  Squirrel.  I had a relative who hunted, and would ship off squirrel meat to us every once in a while.  I loved it.

D. T. Nova

I don’t think so. I used to be an extremely picky eater; that’s not true anymore, but I still don’t think I eat much that is widely disliked, or any uncommon combinations.

Elizabeth Rhodes

I used to eat tuna straight out of the can. Just drain off the water and grab a fork. Then I discovered tuna sashimi and never touched cooked tuna again.

Jean Davis

I don’t know as it’s all that unusual depending on where you live, but I love sushi. Good sushi, not the grocery store or buffet kind.

Paul B. Spence

Unusual? No. Unusual for where and when and who? I love Greek chili, enchiladas, Guinness, curry, and sauerbraten, to name a few. Shrug.

Eric Wood

I enjoy Bologna and ketchup sandwiches. Growing up, that’s one of the kinds of sandwiches that would be packed in my lunch. I still enjoy them, though I probably haven’t had one in years. I’ll be adding Bologna to my grocery list now!

S. R. Carrillo

Yes! It’s called a Pic-a-Dilly snow cone, and you get to pick whatever flavor you want for the shaved ice – typically fruit, like watermelon or cherry. Added to it are a couple layers of chopped up dill pickle (with the pickle juice!). Kool-Aid and spicy Lucas are sprinkled on top. I’ve only had it once before, but it was absolutely magical. I’d prolly break some minor laws for the chance to have it again.

H. Anthe Davis

I can’t really think of anything unusual that I love.  However, I am kind of the local food disposal unit, since I’ll eat anything no one else wants, even if it’s suspicious, and will sometimes eat things just so other people can’t.  Unless they involve tomatoes, eww.  I think I might be a raccoon.

Tracey Lynn Tobin

I haven’t had this in years, but when I was younger I liked to eat bologna sandwiches, but I would put a layer of Ritz crackers on top of the bologna. It made no sense because it was technically just another layer of bread, but I liked the crunchiness. I also used to take plain saltine crackers, and shake random spices from my mother’s cupboard on them to see what it tasted like. I probably near killed myself with all the salt. lol

These days I don’t think there’s too much that’s “unusual” that I love to eat, but I am a sucker for crappy frozen junk food, like Bagel Bites and Pizzaronis.

Allen Tiffany

I like red wine over ice.

Jay Dee Archer

Having lived in Japan, I got to try a lot of things that may be thought of as being unusual in North America. I love sashimi, but that’s become popular. I also love Marmite on toast. That’s something that either people love or hate. I’ve also had shark, which I thought was delicious. But I’ll go back to when I was a teenager. I used to love eating microwaved canned shrimp with margarine and Worcestershire sauce.

How about you?

What are some unusual foods that you love? Let us know in the comments below. Next week, we return to more bookish topics.

We Have Boxes!

After a lot of waiting and frequent checking of international package tracking, most of our boxes have finally arrived. But there are still a couple more en route. They’ve been released to Canada Post, but haven’t been delivered yet. Probably next week.

My family is feeling on a bit of a high today. We got a lot of things we’ve been waiting for. My daughter got many of her favourite toys. My wife got a lot of Japanese things, including sauces and spices for food. And I got a box of books.

With all these boxes finally arriving, I’ll be able to go through my books and figure out which ones I sold and which ones I still have. I’ll be able to reconstruct my library. And once I’ve got my office sorted out, as well as bookshelves, I can give you a tour of my books. That will be great.

Culture Shock of a Four-Year-Old in Canada

My daughter has spent only two nights in Edmonton now, and there are so many changes for her, I have to wonder what’s going on in her mind. She’s had a tough, yet exciting couple of days. But there are some things that she hasn’t been able to adjust to yet.

She now has her own bedroom. She loves it. She loves her new bed, desk, and shelves. She’s slept in the room for part of the last two nights, but due to jetlag, she’s woken up in the very early morning screaming. She was alone. She’s not used to waking up in bed alone at night. This will take a little time for her to get used to.

She went to the playground yesterday. It’s a big playground with many children playing. I heard several languages there, including English, Punjabi, and Russian. There are a lot of Sikhs living in this part of the city, and it’s very multicultural. My daughter was told that she needs to speak English, and she understood. She knows that English is a language that she understands, but she doesn’t speak it much. She went up to kids, said “Hello” in English, then continued to speak to them in Japanese. No kids would play with her, because they couldn’t understand her. It’ll take a little time, but she’ll eventually be speaking English fluently.

The water may have made her sick. She was used to drinking filtered pure bottled water. Now she’s drinking filtered hard water. She threw up three times last night, and I had to go to the drugstore to get an electrolyte drink for her. She’s been fine all day, though.

She actually ate regular meat yesterday. For dinner, we had pork chops, and surprisingly, she ate a lot of it. Normally, she doesn’t eat meat like that. She’ll only eat ground meat or chicken, because they’re easier to chew. But she had no trouble with the pork chops.

She’s also not completely sure of my mother yet. She’s only talked to her via Skype before, but now she has her in person all day to talk to. My wife and I went out briefly to get some salad, and we asked her if she wanted to come or stay home. She decided to stay home. Well, she cried, spent time at the den by the front door waiting for us, and then went to bed holding a book. She fell asleep and stayed asleep until about 11 pm tonight. Now she’s wide awake, watching Disney Junior.

Have you ever had a child have difficulty adjusting to a new living environment? Let me know in the comments below.

Puzzles and Sukiyaki

It was a day of cleaning. Lots of bags ready to go out to the garbage. That was all done in the morning. But the afternoon, four hours to be exact, I spent time going through my daughter’s puzzles and putting them together.

What in the world was I doing playing with her puzzles? Well, she’s lost a lot of pieces, and I was checking to see what’s missing. Well, there are still some missing pieces, so I’ll be looking for them as we clean the living room and sort her toys. Maybe I’ll find them all. I hope so. She loves puzzles.

Anyway, dinner tonight is sukiyaki with wagyuu, which is Japanese beef. You know, the expensive stuff. But don’t worry, I didn’t buy it. It was a gift. It tastes amazing!


And yes, that orange stuff on the bottom right of the picture is raw egg. That’s something I got used to eating in Japan. Makes sukiyaki taste great!

Canada Seems Foreign to Me

After eleven years in Japan, Canada feels like a foreign country to me. It’s familiar, but I’ve become used to Japan. Here are some things that will feel strange to me:

1. Everything is so wide open. Many wide streets, open spaces, and even significant gaps between houses.

2. Staff in shops talk to customers.

3. No temples or shrines.

4. Convenience stores aren’t convenient.

5. Less efficient public transportation system.

6. No bento, or prepared meals, in convenience stores.

7. I’ll hear and see English everywhere! A total lack of Japanese.

8. Japanese food will be different. Edo Japan is more Chinese than Japanese.

9. No variety shows on TV like Japan.

10. Toilets are in bathrooms, instead of separate rooms.

There’s more, and I’m sure I’ll be talking about them on video after we’ve moved to Canada.

Ever return to your home country after living in another country for a while and find things a bit strange? Let me know in the comments below.

Allergy Season Is Upon Us

Although it’s still late winter, the allergy season has already started in Japan. Pollen allergies are very common here, and I have become allergic to some pollen since coming to Japan.

The most common allergies to pollen in Japan are sugi (Cryptomeria japonica, or commonly and incorrectly called Japanese cedar) and hinoki (Japanese cypress). Thanks to an aggressive tree-planting scheme decades ago by the Japanese government, a huge number of sugi were planted all over the country. And because of this, the allergy has developed in a large number of Japanese (and some foreigners, like myself). My symptoms are pretty common: itchy mouth, itchy eyes, runny nose, and lots of sneezing.

Before I came to Japan, I had no known allergies. But I became sensitive to Cryptomeria pollen. But that’s not all I became allergic to. Now, fruit from the rose family affect me. I get an itchy mouth whenever I eat most fruits from that family. This includes apples, pears, apricots, peaches, and cherries. Interestingly enough, I’m not allergic to strawberries or raspberries. I don’t like plums, and I’ve never tried loquats, so I don’t know my reaction to those.

If the fruit are cooked or processed in any way, I have no trouble eating them. When I was a kid, I ate canned pears a lot, and I can still eat them that way.

Of course, as I was typing this, I had a severe sneeze attack. That was fun.

Anyone have seasonal pollen allergies?

From East to West: 41 Days – Favourite Restaurants

Here’s the next video. Two in twelve hours! This time, we went to a local restaurant that happens to be in the Michelin Guide. The food is great. Enjoy.

If you’re interested in trying out this restaurant, here is their website, which includes a map. They’re only open from 11:30 am to 2:30 pm Tuesday to Sunday, closed on Monday.


Look good? What do you think?

What You Think Is Japanese Isn’t Japanese

I subscribe to a YouTube channel called Texan in Tokyo, and they made a video called 3 Popular “Japanese Things” that don’t exist in Japan! Watch it first, and then I’ll add some of my comments about these three things.

Finished? Okay, let’s look at these things.

First of all is the sweet green tea. I’ve heard that’s become common in North America, but since I’ve been in Japan for nearly eleven years, I really have no idea about it. However, that stuff just does not exist here. I can confirm it. I’ve told people about it, and they thought it was strange. And why would you want it sweetened anyway? Real green tea is great!

Second is the hibachi grill restaurants. As it said in the video, they exist in Okinawa, but the rest of Japan doesn’t have them. There’s something called teppanyaki, but it’s not the same. You don’t see the performance done by chefs at your table like in hibachi grill restaurants in North America. Actually, one of my favourite restaurants is Japanese Village, which is a teppan grill restaurant, as they call it, but it is not. My wife found the whole experience strange when she went there. None of the food was Japanese. And there’s no such thing as shabu shabu soup. Shabu shabu is a kind of Japanese cuisine, but it’s not a soup.

And the third one was the North American version of sushi. I agree, roll sushi (maki) is more popular in North America, but is not so common in Japan. You can find it in supermarkets and sushi restaurants, but they are not the most popular. Nigiri sushi (fish on top of a rice ball) is real sushi. Thankfully, Tokyo Express in Edmonton serves plenty of nigiri sushi.

A lot of this is what makes me want to search out authentic Japanese food in Edmonton. Places that are authentic will likely see business from me more often.

What are some stereotypes you have about Japan? Let me know in the comments, and I’ll let you know what the reality is.