Special Message

This blog is dedicated to every woman, and especially horsewomen, who started their motherhood journey a little later than most. If you feel like your story is a theatrical event and you've just begun the 2nd act, then this blog is for you. This blog will communicate what I have learned from growing up a suburban latch key kid, to marrying a cowboy-at-heart, to relocating and raising our daughter in the heart of Rocky Mountain country.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Uma-Boshi and the Joy of (eating) Squid Ink

While my dear husband, beautiful child, and lovely friends are out enjoying a most SPECTACULAR Saturday in Denver, I am stuck inside recuperating from "the general crud".  This short-n-sweet post is the result! Enjoy...

The Inspiration

Upon perusing my google buddies, I came across +Lauren Stein hilarious post about her interesting culinary experiences with Japanese food.  Having lived there for a year, I too have a couple anecdotes to share.  First things first, though - must pass "props" to Lauren...so, here's the link to the original post that inspired me:

How Bourgeois: That Time I Had to Eat Pureed Monkfish Liver and Two More Appetizing Recipes

OK - here we go!  The "Uma-Boshi" story.....

The Japanese have some amazing culinary treats, and one of the favorites of "gaijin" (foreigners) like me is ume-boshi.  NOTE:  that is ume-boshi, which is a pickled plum.  It literally translates to "plum balls" (ume is plum and boshi is ball {you can probably see where this story is heading. huh?}).   This yummy snack is somewhat akin to sweet gherkin pickles - tart enough to make your cheeks pucker, but with a sweet aftertaste that causes INTENSE cravings.  Ume-boshi are highly addictive.  They come in Costco-sized glass jars that'll last you about a week if your addiction isn't completely at crack-level yet.  Seriously, there needs to be a recovery group for this stuff.  I can see it now..."Hi, I am Denise...and I am an ume-boshi addict.....(Hi, Denise!)."

Back to our story.  One of my co-gaijin at our school had the addiction pretty bad.  I don't know if she has come clean about this yet, so let's just call her "Jane," shall we?  Jane went to the fridge to get another crack-ball out of the glass jar and it's...(GASP!)...empty, so she jumped on her bike and pedaled down to the nearest grocery store (which, in Japan, is on every corner).  She rushed into the store, found the nearest clerk, and asked in her best 1st year Japanese, "Uma boshi wa doko desu ka?" Which, of course, she thought meant "Where are the pickled plums?"  Except......Jane said uma, not ume.  Ume is plum.....uma is horse.  I will let you do the translation.

Yep, she was thoroughly embarrassed. Once the clerk got the "OMG-you-ridiculous-gaijin-do-you-know-what-you-just-asked-me?" look off of his face, he politely directed Jane to the pickled plums.

And...The Joy of (eating) Squid Ink story..... 

This one's pretty much to the point.  Spaghetti made with squid ink.  Ewwww! It tastes like....well...spaghetti dipped in pen ink.  Thick, textury pen ink.

Maybe I am just not an exotic food fan. I mean, I feel the same way about caviar and avocadoes.  But come on....really??  There are restaurants in Japan that are solely dedicated to this one gross adventure.  Think about that - every single person in the restaurant, talking, laughing, eating and drinking, with these blackened teeth and tongues. Yuck. Actually, kinda funny too!  We laughed at each other so hard we cried!  It was a fun experience, but truly, truly gross.  ;-)  Hmm...I have just had a minor epiphany - since the Japanese have a great sense of self-deprecating humor, maybe that is the draw of it?

Now that's  attractive!