For the Love of Tofu


Tofu comes in a surprising number of forms. The humble soy bean has given rise to a huge number of products, from sauces, curds, milk, edamame and even natto – fermented soy beans, filling the social niche of cheese for the Eastern world. All evidence of an incredible resourceful product. Essentially, tofu is just coagulated soy milk.

As with my first experience of olives, many many years ago (those rubbery black things related to tyres that appeared on ’80s pizzas) the difference between poor tofu and quality product is profound. My only exposure to tofu, until I came to Australia, was soft, tasteless silken, usually unadorned. I hated it. The texture, the stony blandness, the intimation that the damn stuff was in some way ‘doing you good’ – meat free protein virtuosity. Read more…


Fabulous Fish – Nishiki Style

???????????????????????????????It’s not hard to see that Japan is a country that relies heavily on seafood. On our trips to Japan this has been readily apparent – not just in the sashimi either (though in the end we ate less of that than we do on a typical week in Australia).

Nowhere was this so obvious as at Nishiki Market in Kyoto. Whilst not specifically a fish market, quite a few stalls were dedicated to seafood in one form or another. Seafood is very, very popular! Read More….

The Knives

As soon as Mr C and I heard about Aritsugu, in Nishiki Market, Kyoto, we were hooked. The only thing stopping us going on a retail rampage was that they are cash only. This was more of an issue than I was expecting in Japan – a lot of folks just don’t take cards.

Aritsugu sell knives. Not just any old knives, but very, very sharp and fine knives. They’ve been selling them for nearly 500 years. They’re actually one of two or 3 knife sellers in the area that I spotted, but they sure do look the part.IMG_7906

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Nishiki Market, Kyoto

nishikiflagI love a market. Especially a food market. When visiting another country, it’s a great way to get a handle on the local cuisine; visiting the place where everyone buys their everyday foods. Chatting to the stall holders, checking out the purchasers. Sometimes though, when on holiday, it can be a slight source of disappointment if with a particularly good market, you can’t try much, having no facilities to cook the lovely stuff you see.

Nishiki Market gets around this by selling cooked food as well as raw, and by being terribly generous with it’s free samples. Many stalls had Read More