Japan is well-known for its food, whether it be now-ubiquitous sushi, cute and quirky bento, or the “It’s fried and looks delicious!… wait, it’s WHAT?!” that travelers experience more often than they’d like. However, for those of you looking to go deeper into Japanese cuisine, the Sake & Japanese Food Navigator is a great place to start.
Ad Blankestijn, the blog’s author, is a licensed Master Sake Sommelier and Sake Instructor, but posts nearly as many articles about traditional foods. Topics range from sake brewing processes to serving suggestions, and from the basics of tofu to the cultural significance of peaches. His restaurant reviews focus more on providing background for the cuisine and instruction on how to enjoy it than the quality of the food itself, but it is clear from other posts that if the restaurant is worth a write-up, it’s more than worth a visit.
Overall, the Sake & Japanese Food Navigator has a very straight-forward, informative feel. Don’t let that dissuade you from reading it, though– the tidbits of trivia included in each post feel like little lightbulbs going off in your head. You might also learn some really useful information, like how soba helps the liver process alcohol and lowers blood pressure, or how many mikan to eat to get all your Vitamin C for the day! History buffs will be pleased as well– Blankestijn does his research when providing information on even basic tsukemono (though it’s not always cited). Be sure to check it out!
Photo from Sake & Japanese Food Navigator