You knew it was coming… school lunches, part 2

2 Nov

ImageIt’s been a while since I talked about my school lunches… and I don’t know if anyone cares, but I find it interesting, after my experience with public school lunches in America and all.  School lunch continues to be good quality, though recently, there’s been an increase in fish with bones, which is less pleasant.  But as the season changes, I’ve experienced a bunch of new things in lunches, so I’m hoping things continue to be tasty!

A little while back, we had a special week of food produced in Gunma!  It was exciting, and the high point for me was a day on which we had a small egg block with Gunma-chan imprinted on it. The meal was mushroom udon, as well, which was delicious but sort of difficult to execute.  For those who haven’t experienced udon before, the noodles are meant to be eaten in the soup, but clearly, here, they were not in the soup but in a package.  It was the only time I’ve had udon at school, and the best method for getting the noodles out of the package was, apparently, to break them up while still in the package and then take them out with great care with one’s chopsticks.  It took a bit of work, but the end result was delicious nonetheless!

ImageAnd then, I’ve sort of failed at taking photos of more traditionally Japanese lunches, but I remembered recently!  The main course was chicken, but more interesting to talk about is the pile of what looks like black pine needles next to it.  It’s actually hijiki, a type of seaweed that’s popular for Japanese meals.  It looks unappetizing, but it doesn’t have a strong taste, and it’s full of nutrients like iron, calcium, and fiber.  I don’t love it– the way it’s prepared leaves it tasting sort of pickly, not a flavour of which I’m fond, but I don’t hate it either, so if it’s good for me, I’ll eat it (because I’m a big kid).

ImageLast but not least, “Chinese” food!  Mapo Dofu is a famous Chinese dish that appears in school lunches regularly here.  It’s famous for being incredibly spicy, but… the school lunch version doesn’t seem at all hot, which leads me to question if it bears any resemblance to Mapo Dofu in China at all.  It’s pretty good, still, and on this particular day, it came with a salad with rice noodles mixed in and a spring roll.  While I doubt that any of this is even vaguely reminiscent of any brand of actual Chinese food (I can only speak for what I know from my Chinese relatives– I’ve never been to China, but it doesn’t seem particularly authentic to me).  Still, it’s a bit of variety and pretty tasty.

ImageAnd then, completely unrelatedly, October 26th was my dog’s birthday!  I believe she’s three years old now.  My family sent me a photo of her, and I thought she was too stupidly adorable not to share with the world.  I miss her so much!  It’s been rough living in Japan with no pets around ever, so I was happy to get an update on my family pets back in America.


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