給食 2006年7月3日 School Lunch: Monday, 3 July 2006

Today’s menu:
Eggplant and Ground Meat Curry
White Rice
Fruit Jelly
Whole Milk

Unfortunately, I forgot my camera today, so I couldn’t take a picture. Japanese-style curry is sort of like a brown stew, almost always with meat, flavored with a curry powder and thickened with a roux and served with Japanese-style short grain rice. It is nothing like “curry” in Southeast Asia or the Indian Subcontinent, but the school lunch curry today was, nevertheless, quite tasty, especially after a generous sprinkling of powdered chili pepper that I keep in my desk to spice up the otherwise spice-free school lunch. I heard somewhere that Japanese curry is actually a Japanese interpretation of the European interpretation of Indian curry. Whatever it is, it’s quite tasty if you consider it in a genre in itself.

For some reason, “curry day” (usually once a month) is a special occasion for many students. Japanese curry is considered a kind of comfort food, enjoyed in restaurants and at home. Few people make Japanese curry from scratch at home. Instead, they buy instant curry roux “bricks” that are cooked with water and vegetables and meat to make the brown, stew-like curry. A Japanese friend even brought several boxes of Japanese curry roux to Australia during her one-year working holiday/English study trip, as a representative “Japanese food” to prepare for her new friends there.

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