Kuidaore: To eat oneself bankrupt
A study of Osaka epicurism Kuidaore, literally meaning "
to eat oneself bankrupt",
is an expression used to describe Osaka people's obsession with food. According to a popular Japanese saying, Tokyo people ruin themselves by overspending on fine footwear, Kyoto people on fine clothing, and Osaka people on fine food. But what does kuidaore mean in reality?
My Kojien dictionary says it means "to become poor as a result of one's extravagance in eating and drinking." Certainly, ordinary people will become poor if they overspend on food.
But I think kuidaore really means that Osaka people tend to spend more than other people on food. They definitely have such a tendency. This is probably because the city has always had an abundant supply of delicious ingredients from land and sea. Fresh marine products were supplied from Osaka Bay and the Inland Sea, and fine vegetables from surrounding regions. Who could resist such temptation? People bought them, ate them and enjoyed them. But this doesn't mean they always bought
expensive food. They simply enjoyed whatever seasonal delicacies they could afford.
Osaka people are very enthusiastic and appreciative about food. They consider the ingredients very carefully, and waste nothing when cooking. They spare no effort to enjoy food at its best, whether they are housewives cooking for their families, or professional chefs preparing meals for
customers. I think the word kuidaore implies this special characteristic of Osaka people.
Now, let's take a closer look at its origins.
An abundance of quality ingredients
Fine tools for making fine dishes
Merchants supported the development of cookery in Osaka
Characteristics of Osaka cuisine
Stock and light soy sauce: the essence of Osaka cuisine
Fine food and fine sake: a match made in heaven