Friday, January 25, 2008


I just finished my school lunch: A delicious array of rice balls, one filled with minute white fish with the eyes still intact and flecks of spinach. The other rice ball had pink pickeled radish and sweet beans called anko (the only food in Japan I can't stand). The rice balls (called unegiri) are eaten inside seaweed paper--literally--the texture is like eating paper. The rice was so dry that soup was served on the side with tofu and loads of veggies so that diners don't get rice lodged in their throats.

On the side was...Dah, dah, dah, dummm.......WHALE!!!

And it was really good! It must have been smoked leftover bits since they were tiny brown balls with a smokey flavor. Ironically, the teachers were talking about Green Peace as they were chomping down their delectable whale balls. I couldn't understand what they were saying, but they were laughing. I'll leave the interpretation up to you.

Now I can add whale to my gastric repetoire along with jellyfish, raw squid and octopus, raw horse, blowfish, pig blood (black pudding), chicken brain and loads of other nameless, extremely chewy things I've tried in Asia having not been able to read the menu.

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