The Japanese Obsession with Food

24 07 2007


There are a ton of cooking and/or eating shows on tv here.  That is not ultimately what this post is about though so bear with me for a minute.  Flip through the twelve basic channels everyone gets and at any given time on any given day one will see a show involving food.  Oversized food like restaurants serving  giant ice cream, or curry, expensive food like a $50 burger that contains kobe beef and foi gras, $100 ramen, cheap food, specialty food, new restaurants, food quiz shows, and on and on it goes.  Many towns and prefectures have a local food speciality  so any domestic travel show includes an eating segment.  Not to mention going to an onsen is a common domestic travel destination as well as tv show subject and what does one do at an onsen?  Soak in the mineral baths for one but also EAT.  This is all on regular channels too not the food network.

On these shows the tv celebrities tend to react  with dramatic oohs and aaahs upon seeing the food, then upon tasting there are the cries of joy and excitement over how delicious something was.  If something is expensive, fancy, rare, or known to be delicious the dramatic reaction increases.  Of course this is all on tv so at home people arent that exaggerated but food is still a common topic.

I see these shows and I think wow that is quite a fuss they are making over  that food I wonder what they would think of a little round white wafer.  That little round white wafer so small and simple not really any smell or flavor to it at all but the best thing I have ever eaten.  It is priceless.  It is Jesus, it is God and on those shows they can never come close to eating anything that compares.

I sometimes imagine what one of those food shows would look like it they focused on the Eucharist the same way they do a steak.  For a steak they may show the farmer who raised the cow, what he feeds the cows, how he brushes them and cares for them, then how the chef lovingly prepares the steak cutting it just so and seasoning it just right, finally presenting it on a beautiful dish.   If they did that with the Eucharist showing the Passion, showing Christ’s ultimate sacrifice and all that ends up as a small white round wafer that is the body blood soul and divinity of God!  I think a lot more Catholics would appreciate what they are eating and maybe more Japanese would nsider Catholicism.  I mean if they can be enthusiastic over a fine slice of tuna surely they can even better appreciate a slice of God.



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