THE GOCHISO GOURMET: The grain that binds us

What is the one constant not just during Oshogatsu but throughout the whole year? It’s not toshikoshi soba (buckwheat noodles), which is usually only consumed right before the turning of the new year. Sure, we may consume soba during the year, but not with any regularity. And it’s not lobster or shrimp that symbolizes a […]

THE GOCHISO GOURMET: Got rice?

As far back as I can remember, the Tatsumoto clan always had rice in the house. There was the one 25-pound bag of rice “in use” stored in the mini plastic garbage can and the reserve 25-pound bag sitting next to the washing machine. If it seemed like there might be a possible Matson strike, […]

THE GOCHISO GOURMET: Eat rice

A few years ago, local comedian Frank DeLima delivered a commencement address that started like this: “Eat rice. If you only pay attention to one thing I say, pay attention to this: Rice is the breakfast of champions … the lunch of champions … the dinner of champions. Whole empires, entire dynasties have been built […]

THE GOCHISO GOURMET: Food memories

Since we’re starting the Obon season, this is the time to reflect on those who have passed on and remember those times and events that still make us smile. After all, Obon season is when we dance and celebrate with our ancestors. I’m sure you’re not surprised that many of my memories have something to […]

Northern Japan’s fancy foods

Some 17,000 attendees swarmed the 1,300 companies that exhibited across 206,000 square feet of San Francisco’s expansive Moscone Center during the Winter Fancy Food Show. The specialty foods trade show, now in its 37th year, was held from Jan. 15 to 17. The National Association for Specialty Food Trade (NASFT) is a New York-based nonprofit currently celebrating […]

MIYAGI FOOD: Healthy, delicious and safe

Since the tragic earthquake and tsunami that devastated Japan’s Tohoku region more than eight months ago, Japan has seen substantial decreases in foreign tourism. Many areas directly affected by the disaster are also experiencing decreased domestic and foreign sales of local food products amid concerns for radiation safety. The Consulate General of Japan in San […]

THE GREAT UNKNOWN AND THE UNKNOWN GREAT: The astonishing history of Japanese Americans in Louisiana

Editor’s Note: This is the first in a two-part series. The story of Japanese settlement in Louisiana, whether in the metropolis of New Orleans or in the bayous, is rather unknown, even to locals, but Nikkei have had a surprisingly large impact on the state’s history. Jokichi Takamine was possibly the first Japanese settler in […]

Rice, it’s what’s for dinner

THE HAWAI’I BOOK OF RICE: TALES, TRIVIA AND 101 GREAT RECIPES By Cheryl Chee Tsutsumi (Honolulu: Watermark Publishing, 2011, $15.95, paperback) A blend of history book, storybook and cookbook, “The Hawai’i Book of Rice” introduces readers to rice through a collection of personal anecdotes and original recipes gathered from chefs, individuals, and organizations. The influence […]

GOCHISO GOURMET: Taking the path less traveled

For most of my almost five decades here on this orb, I’ve always cooked rice one way — the old school way, in a traditional cast aluminum rice pot over a stovetop burner. The rice was never measured in a special rice cup; you always knew exactly what level of rice produced three cups of cooked […]

Maitake gohan

As someone living in California I have no right to complain about winter vegetables. My local farmer’s market runs year round and supplies me with fresh kale and squash at a time when my northern neighbors are stuck shoveling snow. That said, I confess it was a welcome change of pace to turn my attention […]

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