After a quick visit to Ginkakuji (the Silver Pavilion), we head to the appointment for the course of Japanese cuisine. Despite the small delay (I confused the University of Art and Design in Kyoto with the University of Kyoto tout court) we are welcomed by Emi-san, who guides us to her house.
We have a little forgiving, thanks to small gifts that we bring: Provencal olives and salt from Guerande, known even here (but not by me…)
His English is good compared to the average Japanese and explanations are simple and clear. Menu of the day:
- spinach salad with sesame sauce;
- mackerel fillets marinated in miso sauce;
- pancake lotus root with shrimp;
- maki skin soy milk;
and finally, mochi strawberry cream with red bean and green tea ice cream.
The three course hours pass quickly and Emi-san reveals full of valuable information on how to prepare the dashi, the equivalent of the vegetable broth and seasonings typical. The result is not bad, although our contribution has been minimal.
At the end of three hours we take our leave from Emi-san. In this short span of time we met a Japan a little hidden: the kitchen full of utensils “bizarre” in the eyes of a Westerner, the rituals of preparation, the cup of green tea before starting, the desire to know a different world their own and the desire to share one’s knowledge.
We did not become Japanese chefs, but this experience pays off in part of my desire to explore Japan a less touristy and more connected to life everyday.
Sure, it is not enough, but at least it’s a start.