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The Taste of Autumn in Japan: An Eating Guide

Posted By on Nov 6, 2014

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With the cool breeze and freshness of autumn comes the desire for a more filling diet and the natural sweetness that can be found in the heartier fruits and vegetables of the season. Unlike in western countries, when the start of the school year marks a fresh beginning, in Japan, autumn is more solemn and calming. As the leaves begin to change color and fall, people enjoy outing in fresh air including hiking and fall foliage-viewing. It’s a wonderful time for all, no matter what it represents.

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As the days grow shorter and the temperature drops, our palettes also begin to change. Our bellies are no longer satisfied with the light salads and picnic-perfect meals of summer. We begin to crave heartier, filling items like stews and other hot dishes. Pumpkin makes an appearance in everything from soups to breads to cake. Figs and persimmons line the shelves of supermarkets.

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As pumpkin spice invades the menus of American shops and cafes, pumpkin and chestnut take over the Japanese culinary scene in early autumn. In supermarkets, free recipes feature seasonal ingredients and how best to use them.

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It’s difficult to walk into a store and not want to try all of the season’s offerings. From special, limited edition flavors of favorite snacks to fruits and vegetables freshly harvested, there is an endless array of choices.

A good way to make the most of the seasonal goods is to share with friends and family. By splitting items, more flavors can be tried without getting too full at once. If only life were a tasting menu in Japan!

 

[post by Nadia]

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