“Born from a bond of pure hunger”

Two very different topics about food:

The first is “How the Japanese Diet Became the Japanese Diet” (from Scientific American) is an article — really a book excerpt — that talks about the differences between pre-war and post-war food traditions and the changing nature of what “Japanese food” is. One thought:

“It turns out that wherever they are from, people are capable of altering not just what they eat, but also what they want to eat, and their behavior when eating it. It is startling that Japan, a country whose “flavor principles” included little spice except ginger, should fall in love with katsu curry sauce made with cumin, garlic, and chili. A country where people once ate meals in silence has shifted to one where food is obsessively discussed and noodles are loudly slurped to increase the enjoyment.”

The second is a book called “Prison Ramen” — just browsing the pages you can see from the  “Look Inside” section is fascinating. Not sure I’d really want to try any of these recipes, but it’s an interesting look at what being incarcerated is like (for some people). The author is Clifton Collins, Jr., an actor who starred in “Capote” (about Truman Capote’s book “In Cold Blood” — about two real-life murderers), who wrote it with his childhood friend, a reformed ex-con. The Foreward was written by actor Samuel L. Jackson (“Pulp Fiction”, the third “Die Hard” and more). The quote in today’s post title is from this Foreward.

Prison Ramen

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