11.10.2013

The Flavours of Autumn

Did you notice that I neglected autumn in my post about the seasonal flavours of Japan? I enjoy fall foods so much that I thought I would give them a whole post to their lonesome. When I think of autumnal foods, the first things that come to mind are pumpkin, apples, cinnamon, corn on the cob, and traditional Thanksgiving food. In Japan, fall brings with it a whole slew of delicious seasonal treats. There are all sorts of delectable yam, chestnut, and pumpkin goodies. Here are a few sweet snacks in flavours that you can only come across during the fall: 

A maple flavoured version of the normally chocolate biscuit bamboo shoots
A chestnut version of the normally chocolate biscuit mushrooms. These were so good!
A purple yam  and black sesame flavoured version of the normally chocolate biscuit bamboo shoots
Pumpkin pudding Kit Kats
Another food that is representative of autumn in Japan is a thin silver fish called sanma, or Pacific saury. They cost only about 100 yen a fish in this season and are served grilled with grated daikon,  and soy sauce. This fish is one of the numerous reasons that fall is my favourite seasons for food in Japan. It is just so amazingly good! 

This year we had (maybe a new tradition?) a Japanese style autumn feast and of course invited our friends the Oshimas to join us. We barbecued sanma, and made a huge pot of miso soup, steamy rice, and chestnut pumpkin cake for desert. 

Sanma, cut in half and popped on the barbecue. That lone little
pork cutlet was for Dustin, who really only eats fish when
it is absolutely necessary or battered and deep fried. 
Usually sanma is grilled whole, with the head on, and not gutted. Mrs. Oshima wasn't sure the kids would be too fond of that, since the guts are pretty bitter, so she beheaded them, cut them in half, and gutted about half the fish for the boys. I tried one with the guts but found them to be so taste smotheringly bitter that I couldn't enjoy the mild fish flavour at all. I ended up joining the boys eating their gutless ones. Maybe one day I'll learn to eat what the grownups are eating!

A close up of the beauties
All crisp and ready to eat. 
Fish is one of Theo's favourite foods. He really anticipated this meal!
Rosie didn't know what she was missing
But at least she didn't miss out on a good opportunity to have a nap in the cozy arms of Obaasan

Another, not to be forgotten, star of the fall foodscape is the mushroom. Japan in autumn is the place to be for mushroom lovers. There are so many varieties and they so inexpensive that there is no reason no to eat them all the time. I think I could eat them for every meal! 


6 comments:

derrydown said...

You're learning about fish! I am always amused by Theo - he's usually in costume, a mask, or face paint, with no explanation. Rosie is so huggable looking. Huggu!

Heather said...

Hi Laura! I'm Heather and I have a question about your blog! If you could email me at Lifesabanquet1(at)gmail(dot)com that would be great!

Heather said...

Hi Laura! My name is Heather and I wanted to know if you could answer a question I have about your blog! If you could email me at Lifesabanquet1(at)gmail(dot)com that would be great!

Sophelia said...

Autumn is the best time for eating in Japan, hands down!

Blue Shoe said...

I do miss how Japan is so seasonal. In the US we eat more pumpkin-flavored stuff in the fall, but it's nearly the same...=P

Blue Shoe said...

I do miss how Japan is so seasonal. In the US we eat more pumpkin-flavored stuff in the fall, but it's nearly the same...=P