Tuesday, April 16, 2013
Won't Miss #514 - kamaboko
Sometimes you'll go into a market or convenience store in Japan and see pretty pink and white or green spirals with scalloped edges that look like some sort of candy. In fact, they bring to mind slices of potato candy, a concoction of peanut butter, mashed potatoes and powdered sugar which sounds horrible, but is tasty in a way that is hard to describe, especially when you're a poor child and that's what your granny makes you.
Those lovely spirals are not, of course, candy. You'll figure that out soon enough if you see some floating in a savory stew, or, if you have the misfortune to bite into it. This harmless looking substance is fish paste or kamaboko. I don't know about you, but logs of colorful spiraled slabs do not bring fish to mind and this seems like a real bait and switch or perhaps more of an effort to put lipstick on a pig (or a stinky fish in this case).
I am open-minded about food. There is little that I won't actually try at least once, often two or three times. In fact, my husband was once given a cheese-flavored cricket which I was game to sample, but he was so disgusted by the idea that I abstained. I tried kamaboko and it was a horrible experience. Though I'm not the greatest fan of fish to begin with, I do eat fish and even enjoy it on occasion, but this is just disgusting to me personally and I absolutely do not miss kamaboko.