First of all, let me explain why I chose the subject of local cuisine.

Nowadays, all kinds of foods from all over the world are available in Japan-- if you can afford them! This Asian island nation is perhaps one of only a few such places in the world.

That is good news in itself. But on the other hand, how many Japanese people really know enough about the food of our own country?

Everyone has heard the phrase "local cuisine". But what does this really mean?

Originally, "local cuisine" meant dishes made with local ingredients using methods typical of the local area. In the old days, distribution was much less efficient than it is today, so people depended on whatever fresh produce was available locally. Of course, that remains the case today; but with highly developed distribution networks, the word "local" has taken on a whole new meaning. Salmon caught in Hokkaido is sold in Osaka markets in perfectly fresh condition. It is now almost impossible to make local dishes solely with ingredients from the local area. Even miso and soy sauce, the basic flavourings of Japanese cooking, are made from imported soybeans, since Japan has to import most of the soybeans it consumes.

I think a better definition of "local cuisine" is dishes prepared using traditional methods of that area, if not with local ingredients. There must be a good reason why some dishes have been passed on from generation to

generation. In this series, I'll be selecting some traditional Japanese dishes, exploring their historical and cultural background, and presenting the recipes.

Since I'll be taking a personal approach, I may not always be correct. So if you spot any mistakes, please don't hesitate to point it out.

And now, let's begin with Osaka, where the Tsuji Group is based.

Takao Sugiura







Japanese Cuisine
Basic Techniques

This Home Page is brought you by TSUJI GROUP
Copyright(c)1997 TSUJI Group