In this article, we’ll take a look at familiar food products that vary in flavor between their Japanese version and overseas counterparts.
There are quite a lot of sweet soy sauces available in countries outside of Japan that have added sugar. But Japanese soy sauce doesn’t have any sugar in it. And while soy sauce in Japan is sold with its natural color, in some countries the color is altered using food coloring, and there are even some soy sauces that are made completely soy free! So please try out some natural Japanese soy sauce, that is delicious without adding other unnecessary ingredients.
In Japan, green tea is taken without sugar. And sugary tea beverages sold in bottles are also taboo. For those who are used to drinking sweet beverages, unsweetened green tea might seem a bit pungent. But since you are drinking something that is good for your health, why not drink it without sugar, and enjoy its natural flavour and scent. During hot summer weather, plenty of people gulp down straight green tea, so it’s definitely not that bad. We recommend you try it!
In Japan, tofu is a raw food. But in other countries, it comes seasoned in cartons and jars, with a very long expiry date. In Japan, tofu is sold in water sealed in a packet which is refrigerated. It cannot be stored at room temperature, and has a relatively short expiry date. Overseas, oftentimes a hard kind of tofu is used in stir-fries in the place of meat. But in Japan, soft tofu is consumed more than hard tofu, and the most popular way to enjoy it is similar to how sashimi (raw fish slices) is eaten. It is served chilled with a little soy sauce for a simple dish.
Mayonnaise is one of those products that you can get your hands on just about anywhere in the world. But the taste of the product here in Japan is so different to its overseas counterparts that it is second only to soy sauce, when it comes to items that many Japanese people living abroad must have from home. The main difference is the strong egg flavor, and also a strong sour taste from the vinegar. Japanese mayonnaise has by far a richer flavor. And once you get used to this style of mayonnaise, you’ll be surprised at how flat and completely different other mayonnaises are.
So go ahead and give the Japanese version of some of these common products a go, and taste the difference for yourself! I bet you’ll be surprised at just how much of a difference there actually is!
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