Japan and…small plates

It’s been a week of comings and goings, ups and downs, and disappointments and achievements.  Suicidal pilots, carnage and mayhem in former Aden, and the new Chinese-led development bank.  That bank?  That bank is the story of the year, wait and see where its investments go.

On a positive note: My piece on the Japanese cheese industry came out yesterday in Cheese Connoisseur.  The piece discusses the cheeses made in Japan and the cheese makers.  The cheeses are chiefly soft and they are delicious.  Local mozzarella for first-rate pizza, etc.

Then there’s a really interesting piece on the first page of the Food section of today’s NY Times about “small plates” in restaurants.  This used to be the sort of thing in western Europe and North America reserved for tasting menus.  Nowadays with increased affluence among the few who can afford to eat out routinely, and with a health consciousness among that group which dictates diet, small plates are appearing on all sorts of menus.

Well, all sorts of menus in NYC, anyway.

The idea is to share a number of appetizer-sized portions.  You get a few bites and move on.

It’s a great idea for developing a broader palate.  Good for the restaurants that know how to price a beet at $14, too.  No kidding: That beet really cost $14.

Small plates will never replace the large portion places: Restaurants that want you to leave feeling full.  But they add to the mix.

Meanwhile I’m still thinking about the China bank and its investment strategies.  They are operating on the basis of strategies rather than tactics.  It’s the difference between big plates and small plates.

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