Kaiseki-ryori is Japan's way of artistically serving food with the freshest ingredients and this is VERY different from how food is served in the states. Japanese food is served in very small servings and you are supposed to eat it slowly and savor every bite. By the time you get to the 4th or 5th small serving, you are already feeling full! Instead of getting a BIG platter of food (like on base at Chili's), you instead get very small servings at different times throughout your meal. This definitely lets you enjoy your food more and I think you get full sooner after eating less that you would, say at Denny's or some all you can eat buffet place in the U.S.
Is this how the Japanese stay slim and fit, by eating little portions at a time and eating those small portions slowly? When we recently had Tasaka-san and family over for Halloween, we ordered Anthony's pizza (an on-base favorite) for dinner. Tasaka-san could not believe how big the pizza was! He kept asking me questions like, 'how do they make the pizza this big?' or 'did you order a party size pizza'? (I only ordered a large pizza!!)
Even if you go to a buffet style place in Japan, the plate size is soooo small. Not to mention, the buffet choices are fresh seafood, diakon, fresh veggies, like cucumbers and carrots, raw fish, etc... The choices are not fried chicken, mashed potatoes, fried apples (as I am writing this, I am starting to feel a little hungry :)
Can we all learn a little from the Japanese way of eating?
- use small serving plates
- eat smaller portions
- eat a lot slower and enjoy every bite of your food-I promise you will feel full faster!
***I have to say, that while I have truly enjoyed the Japanese cuisine since we've been here, there is one thing missing. Diet Coke. It is not available at any restaurant that I have been to. As far as I know, they do not serve diet coke at restaurants in Japan. They have regular soda, iced tea, iced coffee, and really fruity drinks, like mango juice. But no diet coke.
Many of you may be thinking, 'good, I'm gald, it's not good for you anyway'. Well, I understand, but I am totally ADDICTED to diet coke...especially the refreshing fountain version you get at the restaurant. But, its not happening here. However, I can get diet coke from the base grocery store (AKA the commissary) AND I can order it at the restaurants on base...which I am sooo happy about :-)