In Search of Umami

8:40 A.M.: Train to Tsuruga from Kyoto while reading MIshima’s psycho novel 金閣寺.  Disoriented by geography, but told later it was N x NW.

In Tsuruga, a couple of hours with good friends Kiyomi and Jiro at a konbu kura.  Konbu, a.k.a. kelp, is used to enhance and deepen broths, soups, and sauces.  It’s a perfect example of the nearly indefinable umami, which is a flavor created by naturally occurring glutamic acid.  That stuff is found in products like dried anchovies, hard cheeses, and, of course, kelp.  This kelp is harvested from regions of Hokkaido.  It’s aged, some of it, for three years, and in the drying and storage room I saw long, black, and beautiful sheets.

Delicious grilled sea bream later over lunch with K.  Is Japanese gastronomy the best or what?

Back in HK (Hot Kyoto, not Hong Kong, like you may have thought),  a cold shower, a cold beer, and then time to buy beautiful things for dinner at home: Crab from Hokkaido, beef from hokkaido, grilled chicken, fried tofu sheets, taro salad, etc.  I had a craving for a slice of pizza, but it passed.


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