Ask Udder-Smith: How do I revive my appetite?
It seems I spend all my time chewing the same tasteless cud and staring into the shadows; how do I revive my appetite in this heat?
Tasteless in Tokyo
Fear not; like most things with nature, the Japanese have several seasonal remedies for the heat and your waning appetite. Unagi, Japanese eel, is currently everywhere in your local supermarket or fish shop, and comes pre-prepared – the Japanese swear by its restorative powers, and even reserve a special day in summer in this last week of July, to celebrate the slippery delicacy. Even better, this day is called Doyo Ushi no Hi, because it is the cow day of the month (ushi=cow)! If the thought of eel only sends you further into a tasteless funk, try ginger – a simple grated ginger and summer vegetable soup, with salt and pepper for seasoning, works wonders for this bovine’s appetite. Ume (pickled plum) and yuzu (Japanese citrus) are other Japanese favorites, taken plain or added to ice cold water to refresh, and you should not go through a Japanese summer without eating cold somen or tempura at your local noodle shop.
Best of luck keeping your cool and your appetite.