Kitchen Culture

tasty tidbits from the old-fashioned Japanese Kitchen



Slender, sleek, and steely-colored sanma are perfectly named...
in Japanese these three calligraphy say it all!

autumn  秋

sword  刀

fish   魚


Choosing tableware to serve and display food is part of the creative fun you can have with washoku, Japan's food culture. Shape, size, color, pattern (or lack thereof) and the material from which the vessel is made (both glazed and unglazed clay, glass, wood and other natural materials) are just some of the considerations. Setting the table provides an opportunity to express the pleasure of the season and occasion.


Chopstick rests are both practical (they keep the end that touches food and mouth from soiling the place setting) and a great way to add a sense of season to the table. One of my favorite fall designs are these sanma on-the-grill.


Long, slender plates resemble sanma fish and accordingly are referred to as SANMA-ZARA. They are perfect for plating a whole grilled fish... and fun to use when plating groups of other foods, too.