December Survey Results: What’s your strangest food experience in Japan?

“I was at a Japanese friend’s house and they had this weird purple egg-shaped fruit. They said it was a mountain fruit that people used to eat back before they could get decent sweets. Splitting the purple shell, the inside fruit lookes like big light purple grubs with a black dot in each segment. At first I thought it might actually be grubs. The black dots were seeds and when I asked if I should eat them, they said no. I tried my best to eat it, but it was mostly seeds and so awkward trying to spit them out. I don’t even remember what it tasted like.” — Sarah, Soso Area

“I was given a few slivers of raw whale meat at my welcome party at the restaurant we went to. It was good, but it is not something that I would go out of my way to eat… I mean, it just tasted like regular raw, red fish.” — Melanie Smith, Iwaki

“Something called monkey pears! They were like a cross between a kiwi and a grape, and you squished them and sucked out the insides. It wasn’t too sweet, and was actually quite nice! I’d never seen or heard of them before the principal picked a bunch from one of the houses neighbouring the school.” — Danielle, Mishima

Dried Lizard from Minami-Aizu! They are said to be good for your health and give you lots of energy. My high school kids bought some and ate it to get revitalized after their studying, like an energy potion. After chatting with people, I learned that the dried lizards were actually eaten during the winter when protein was scarce.” — Cat, Aizu-Wakamatsu



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