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Chopsticks, Anyone?

Three Japanese dishes bring an asian flavor to your table

In nearly every culture, meals are steeped in tradition. The ingredients, preparation and consumption of food are often determined, at least to some extent, by the practices of a nation’s forebears; these practices, in turn, have been influenced by geography, religion and even historical events such as wars.

As one would expect, the cuisine of Japan is very much intertwined with those of China and Korea. Indeed, chopsticks originated in China.

Being an island nation, Japan naturally produced a cuisine heavily dependent upon the sea. Thus, fish and seaweed are key ingredients in many Japanese dishes. Rice, Japan’s leading crop, has been a staple for many centuries. Other grains, including wheat, which is used to make various types of noodles, and barley, are also grown in Japan, as are soybeans and a variety of vegetables.

Poultry has always been consumed less frequently than seafood, and red meat even less so, especially since the introduction of Buddhism to Japan in the sixth century.