History of Japanese cuisine: from ancient times to the present day.
Bright and extraordinary for many Europeans, the world of Japanese cuisine has a long history, counted for centuries, its unique traditions and unshakable customs. Perhaps it is Japanese cuisine is a model of originality, diversity, and usefulness, which is why it was to the liking of people living in different parts of the world. To get a better sense of all the subtleties and peculiarities of Japanese cuisine, you should turn to its history, which has its roots in many centuries ago.
Japan is a country with rich flora and fauna, which means that since ancient times it was not a problem for residents to get enough food for normal existence. Even many centuries ago, the Japanese had in their diet about 20 species of different plants, could cook from more than 120 varieties of meat, and made dishes from several varieties of fish and shellfish.
It is important to note that ancient Japanese used natural refrigerators for food preservation, i.e. pits, which were three meters deep, and salt as a preservative. They smoked the meat, which had to be preserved for a long time. Archaeologists who excavated in Japan were surprised at how well the ancient people were aware of the properties of the food they eat. For example, the poisonous fish Fugu, popular in modern cuisine, was in the diet of the ancient Japanese. At the same time, they knew very well that the danger to health is not the whole carcass, but only liver and caviar, which contains deadly poison.
Nowadays, many people associate Japanese cuisine with rice, believing that it is the main product. An interesting fact is that rice cultivation in Japan dates back to the 3rd century BC. After a short period of time, this product became the basis of Japanese cuisine, forming the gastronomic features and preferences of the inhabitants of the country of the rising sun. At that time rice played two main roles – it was one of the main products on the table of every Japanese, and at the same time served as a unit of money for both internal and external payments.
It was rice that until the end of the 19th century was considered a measure of reward for the samurai, and its reserves determined the degree of human wealth. Every year, every Japanese eats “koku”, i.e. about 180 liters of rice. The course of time is inexorable, but it is rice that remains the basis for Japanese cuisine to this day.