I’ve been eating like, mostly fruit this week. It’s hot, and I don’t feel like cooking, and my last couple weeks in Shibata my diet got really bad, so I ended up with a vitamin C deficiency or something. So I keep just buying bananas and nectarines and apples and saying, “I’ll have these for breakfast,” and then eating them every single meal. This probably is not very healthy?
Mo has been skipping meals because it’s hot, and because her sister is exerting Peer Pressure on the health benefits of fasting. (Bad sister.) So, today I convinced her to go with me to Ryogoku – aka, Where The Sumo Wrestlers Are – and have chanko nabe – aka, What The Sumo Wrestlers Eat. It’s basically stew made with a bunch of different types of meat, with the aim of providing lots of protein. We got one of the more pedestrian varieties that only had five protein sources: chicken, chicken liver, beef, deep-fried tofu, and something called kinkan.
The kinkan were two little yellow things that looked kind of like egg yolks. Mo looked at them dubiously and asked the waiter what they are. “They’re from chicken,” he said, and then he launched into a very clinical description I was unable to follow.
“Oh!” said Mo, looking concerned. I’m hiding this, and those indoctrinated mainly in the Western culinary arts probably do not want to select it. “They’re unlaid eggs, that were still in the chicken when it was slaughtered.” She refused to eat them. I tried one – it tasted like a hard-boiled egg yolk, from an egg that had been boiled a little too hard. Sorry, but if a food’s genesis comes straight out of Petshop of Horrors, I just expect more. The second kinkan didn’t get eaten.
Anyway, after some consideration, Mo decided that three kinds of meat was insufficient, and informed me that would also be ordering sushi, fried chicken cartilage (this is delicious, shut up), and a yakitori plate. So that brought us up to around nine types of animal consumed. There were also some raw shellfish appetizers, which we pried out of their shells with toothpicks and were excellent. Despite the fact that her circumference is like half mine, I was completely unable to keep up with Mo in all of this. She’s an athlete. I slowed to a stop around the one-hour-mark, just when she was deciding to order some rice and eggs to mix into the left-over broth.
Then we went to Shinjuku to the Isetan department store, where we obviously went directly to the food floor. (I was the one who’d suggested this, though I hadn’t been planning to do it while about to die of nabe.) There were ten different bakeries crammed in there, all of which had macarons, which were what we’d come for – we ended up getting them at two different places, and she spent a while considering some chocolates for her mom at a third one. That not being sufficient, after looking around at the non-food shops for an hour, we stopped for gelato.
So I’d say we’ve pretty much touched all our dietary failure bases this week.