Sep 19, 2018
Living abroad has a lot of food perks, but there were a few things obviously missing from the kitchen right away. I've written about cilantro here and am happy to see it fairly often these days.
The weird craving I had within six months of living in Japan was black licorice. Love the stuff, but understand why Japanese think it tastes like medicine and it's not sold here.
I never expected to see kombucha tea in Japan (other than the Japanese kombu-cha kombucha, of course), so this was a pleasant surprise. If I really need it I'll know where to look, but it's a nice treat when I visit family.
Luckily, rice (more specifically pilaf rice) is my comfort food, and it's everywhere in Japan. I eat rice every day and make pilaf when I can make the extra effort.
There's a group of other carbs that I wasn't used to eating back home but now they're strangely comforting on occasion.
One that caught me by surprise is English muffins. (Is that what you call them in the UK, or are they just muffins?) There's something about the cornmeal that makes these nostalgic even though I almost never ate them back home.
I've also seen (usually awful) bagels in Japan recently and one bakery makes decent blueberry bagels.
I had mostly gotten out of the habit of eating cereal and in Japan there's so little variety compared with in the States. I'm loving that there's granola available everywhere now. I haven't been into trying cereal here, unless it's corn flakes on ice cream.
Another strange one is cheap macaroni and cheese. I would rarely eat the box mac & cheese in the US, and when I did it was prepared with veggies and curry powder. I haven't seen that in Japan so I resort to cheese toast with curry powder when I feel the need for cheap cheesy carbs. There is plenty of creamy pasta and gratin, which is way fancier. I have a feeling I might miss that if I leave Japan.
Can you find the comfort foods you were used to before living in Japan?