Monday, November 12, 2012

wanko soba

Something I never expected to find myself doing in Japan is an eating competition. 
The room before: wooden tables all set, tatami floor, floor cushions waiting with bibs.
Of course, the Japanese are known for doing well whatever they do... and for doing everything. Whatever you can think of, there's a Japanese person doing it or who has done it.
They're also known for small, cute things... so, without further ado, Wankosoba.

You can read the story here. 'Wanko' means something like 'cute little bowl'. And that's what happens... a lady stands over you and gives you a mouthful at a time, into your little bowl. 15 of these serves is equivalent to a single normal serve of soba.
Seasonings make the experience more enjoyable.
The challenge is 100 bowls, after which you get a little wooden plaque.
Now, I'm not an eating competition kind of person. I find it kind of disturbing. Not only is it a waste of resources, when there are so many hungry people in the world, but it's gross. But being in a group kind of changes things... this was a fun experience. 
Wanting to get to 100, some people left their sashimi. It was sad. 

I made 65 bowls. There were boys sitting around me on all sides, and most of them got to 100. Our champion was a tiny Japanese guy, of course, at 150.

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