Friday, October 1, 2010

Lunch Time! Kyuushoku!

Everyday at school I eat kyuushoku (school lunch). It's a lot different than American school lunches. Even though I often don't like something in the lunch, overall it is much better quality than the lunches I had when I was in school. It's healthier too. There is a wide variety in each lunch so I'm getting a variety of vitamins and stuff.

One of the biggest differences though is not the food. All the students have to eat kyuushoku. They don't have the option of bringing their lunch (unless they have an allergy or some medical reason). Everybody gets the same food. There are no options to choose from. Also, the students are expected to eat everything.

There isn't a cafeteria, so they eat in their homeroom classrooms. There are no lunch ladies (though the tea lady prepares the lunch trays for the teachers) so the students carry the pans of food to their classrooms and certain students each week serve the lunch to their classmates.

Lately I have taken some pictures of kyuushoku. I'll show a picture from each day and explain what it is. I want to give a good description so someday I can look back at all the unusual things I ate! I have already had some very interesting lunches so I'm sure I'll get some interesting kyuushoku pictures. None of these have anything that was super strange, but maybe whale meat will be served again. Yeah... I ate whale. :(

Just for fun I'll give it a rating from 0-5. This rating wont be what I would give it in a restaurant or something. It's just a comparison of each lunch to how they generally are.

Here's the monthly lunch menu.


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September 15, 2010



American Pork: It's always interesting what the Japanese call "American." This American pork dish had pork, beans, and onion in some sort of tomato-ish sauce. I haven't had this in America, but it tasted like something I could have in America.
Cabbage and Lemon: a mix of cabbage, carrots, seaweed, and lemon
Rice
Tougan Miso Soup: Tougan is a type of gourd. If you don't know what miso soup is, you can see here.
Grapes

Overall, I really liked this lunch. My least favorite part was the soup. I love tougan (I didn't know what it was called until just a couple minutes ago when I looked it up the kanji in my dictionary) and I usually like miso soup, but this one had an odd taste to it. But I still didn't hate it. So since I really liked a couple things and could tolerate everything I give this one 4.5/5.


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September 16, 2010


Potato Korokke (Croquette): It's fried and has mostly potato inside with some other things which I may or may not want to know, but I did see carrots in there.
Mixed Vegetables: I can't figure this out from the menu. It says "marine" which when I looked up the Japanese means "marinate" so I'm just confused. Basically I just want to know what the nasty nasty white chunks are. It tastes awful so I'm guessing it's probably made from fish. It was mostly seaweed and cucumbers with those nasty white chunks and gross slimly purple stuff (seafood of some sort I think). It was nasty, but not totally inedible. Though I think I found it a little tolerable because a couple days before we had a whole huge chunk of that nasty white stuff. I took one bite and gagged. I wanted to be able to eat it all but I took another very tiny bite and gagged again. I gave up and didn't eat it.
Bread The bread had bits of apple inside. :) I love bread days because the tea lady usually gives me extra to take home. :)
Mixed Fruit with Aloe: bananas, peaches, mandarin oranges, and aloe
Edamame: soybeans

This lunch would have been awesome if it weren't for the stupid gross vegetables. Because of those stupid vegetables, this lunch was only 2.5/5. I would give it a 2, but the edamame just made me happy. :)


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September 17, 2010



Shiitake Rice: rice with shitake mushrooms and carrots
Saba Gomayaki: saba (a type of fish) with with some sort of sesame seed seasoning
Konbunoitame: This is some sort of seaweed. It's thin and tastes better than seaweed usually does (I don't like the kind of seaweed used for things like sushi and the slimy kind that's usually mixed with the lunch vegetables). I get tired of it after a couple bites, but I don't hate it.
Zunda Mochi: mochi with a soybean and sugar sauce
Pear


I loved the mochi. I had this same kind the first day I ate kyuushoku. It was my first time having mochi. I thought it was OK then. I liked the mochi, but the sauce was just OK. This time I loved it! My tastes have definitely changed since I moved here. Also, I really liked the pear. I never liked pears before, but I like them now. I think it's because it's much better than many things in the lunch. The fish and rice and seaweed were OK, but there was too much of the seaweed stuff and I got sick of it towards the end. But overall, this lunch was OK.
3.5/5


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September 22, 2010


Chicken and Potato with Ketchup Sauce
Bean Sprout, Nira, and Tuna: Nira is called "garlic chives" in English. Here's an article.
Shrimp Rice: It also had peas and mushrooms in it.
Pumpkin Soup
Orange

I really liked the chicken and potato stuff. The vegetables weren't bad. I used to hate tuna, but now I actually like it. I really really really hate shrimp, but there were only a couple in this whole bowl of rice, so it wasn't too bad... still pretty bad though. The pumpkin soup was OK, but I had no clue what it was. As I was eating it I kept thinking of all the weird things it could be and was disliking it by the end. The worst part of this meal was actually the orange. It's called mikan in Japanese. The flavor is really good. I would love it if I could just sit there and squeeze the juice out of it. Unfortunately I could not do that. I hate all the white stuff on oranges. It tastes horrible and has a horrible texture. It takes me forever to eat and I gagged on it a couple times. Seriously. Of all the weird stuff I eat at school... oh well...
2.5/5


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September 27, 2010


Miso Tonkatsu: pork with a miso sauce
Ohitashi Vegetables: Ohitashi is boiled greens, such as spinach. It had cabbage, nira, and bean sprouts.
Rice
Tofu and Seaweed Soup
Vanilla Ice Cream Flavored Yogurt: I've never had just plain vanilla yogurt so I'm not sure how the ice cream flavor compared to regular vanilla yogurt. So I'm not sure how ice cream-ish it was, but the name of the flavor just made it much more interesting.

Everything was pretty good. I've started to really like chunks of tofu in soup. I liked tofu before, but not in big chunks. Now it's often my favorite part of the soup. The tonkatsu was really good, except that part of the meat was really fatty (that's typical with almost any big piece of meat in these lunches). So that was a bit gross. But overall this was a good meal. 4/5

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September 29, 2010


Tofu no masago... followed by some kanji I can't figure out: I found a recipe for this online and translated it with Google translate. It has tofu, eggs, shrimp, and other vegetables. I think this one had carrots.
Nimame: That means "simmered beans." They were a bit sweet.
Sansai Rice: "Sansai" means "mountain vegetables." That's pretty vague, so I'm not sure what the exact vegetables are.
Cabbage Miso Soup: It also had mushrooms and carrots.

I was enjoying the tofu/egg thing until I came across a shrimp. There were only two in there so it wasn't as horrible as it could have been. So really I didn't hate it. The rice was OK. The soup was also just OK. I loved the beans though! Too bad there weren't very many of them. :( Also, on the menu that day was an orange, but luckily we didn't actually have them.
3.5/5

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September 30, 2010


Pork Steak with Applesauce
Corn and Potatoes
Bread
Egg Drop Soup: cabbage, ham, carrots, seaweed, and of course egg
Orange Jelly: Orange Jell-o-ish stuff (kind of inbetween Jell-o and jelly) with mandarin oranges

Everything tasted really good! I loved this lunch, except that the meat was fatty like usual. There's not much to say about this one since I pretty much described it above. 4.5/5

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Those are all my pictures of kyuushoku for September. I'll take some more pictures this month and post them at the end of the month. I had a lot of fun doing this post. It was interesting to read the menu and actually look the things up to find out what I had eaten.

There are many things I don't like in kyuushoku, but I'm still glad I signed up to eat it. It's not too expensive. It's 4300 yen each month. I had 22 meals this month so that's about 195 yen, or 2 dollars per day. That's really cheap for what I get. Plus, I like not having to make my own lunch every day. I'm getting more nutrition this way because I'm not eating peanut butter and jelly every day, lol.

This has nothing to do with kyuushoku, but it does have to do with food. I just saw a commercial for the Tamago Double Mac. It's basically a Big Mac with egg on it. Yeah, it's random that I'm writing this, lol. I just think it's always interesting to see the things that McDonald's has here that aren't available in the US.

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