I commented to Camel the other day that Japanese food sucked. He said I didn't have context, because, since I'm a vegetarian, I miss out on all the delicious raw fish
. After a little thinking, I realised I also hate typical western food, because I have a strange thing about having my food taste like something
a vegetarian. All I'm assuming is that the taste and effort is evenly distributed across all the food groups. Clearly, this is incorrect, since people think meat tastes so much better than vegetables. I think if people didn't make their vegetables taste like shit, the meat industry would be in a lot of trouble.
Let's get to it. Japanese food is shit. Period. Even Japanese people think so, they're all just too polite to say anything (I actually said this to Camel, totally candid. I am a genius of the word
variety). Following is a list of (vegetarian) raw materials that japanese people use for cooking, and some comments:
- Gross. Seriously, really, gross. The flavour and taste reminds me of raw fish.
- No flavouring. Chinese rice, vietnamese rice, any rice, has salt, or something to make it not taste like nothing
- No flavouring. Beans are generally bad as far as texture goes. You gotta bake em or something. Boiling beans is a mistake, always.
- Soy Beans
- These deserve specian mention because of tofu. Tofu is sickeningly bad. I can put it aside when there isn't too much, but damn. It's an insult to my palette to think that I'm being given that crap instead of a dead cow. "Dead cow?"; "No thanks"; "Here's some soybeans instead"; "Fuck". No flavouring
- Next to eggplant, my most hated food, and, wait for it, No flavouring
- Eggs make me sick, and aren't strictly vegetarian. I just eat cakes, which have eggs, so I gotta put em in. These are flavoured by my puke)
- Oh god fuck. I like spinach, but you gotta remember one thing: It doesn't taste good by itself. Putting spinach in hot water, then pulling it out of said hot water and serving is not cooking.
- You have to be careful with these things. Making a dish entirely of mushrooms makes it mushy, and with a disgusting texture. Like spinach, it can be awesome, but leave it to the japanese to fuck it up.
- Same goes here. It's cool to use it, but use some discretion. Too many of these fucks up a dish. There's an indian dish made from turnips. It's nice, but only with something else.
- Decent Ingredients
- After spinach, it's mostly decent. Some things you'd think they couldn't fuck up, like corn or potato. I don't even really mind that they don't have things like tomato in there, but they could do so much more with what they had.
Note must be made of wasabi. I haven't tried it, but it's the only hope I hold for Japanese cuisine. The theory is sound. It should
Other than ingredients, It's also about preparation. Indian rule of cooking 1: If it takes less than a day to cook, it's shit. The kitchen should be sprawling with womenfolk of an extended family over a long weekend to ensure that it ends with good eatin'. Boiling stuff is worse than bad, it's an insult. I like a lot of raw foods. Pretty much any vegetable that can
be eaten raw, I'd probably like it raw. Boil of the crispness and taste, however, and it's a boiled lumpy piece of shit. This counts for western cooking too. Shame.
The final nail in the culinary coffin for Japan is spice. My mum's got a drawer full of spice, and that's bare minimum. A spice rack is laughable. What do the japanese use? I daresay absolutely nothing. Polite people say "they have a delicate and subtle palette". I say "their food tastes like nothing". Their food tastes like nothing because they don't add spice. They don't add spice because they don't have any spice. That makes them poor unfortunate souls.
Western foods actually have a similar problem. I've already mentioned the boiling, but there's other things too. Need I say baked potato? Where did that idea come from? Is that supposed to make them taste good? No wonder you guys hate your veggies!
So my conclusion is as follows: Food must taste like something. Vegetarian Japanese and Western foods often do not
taste like something. This is because their vegetables are either boiled or baked, and nothing is added to make them tastier. The choices in veggies that are made are also often just plain wrong, and sometimes misguided. Lacking spice is simply the final nail in the coffin.