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Kyoto | Menami: obanzai, Kyoto home cooking

Obanzai is the traditional ‘home cooking’ of Kyoto, using at least half of the ingredients produced in the area.

Obanzai is based on 5 elements that underline the simplicity of the cooking style, the genuineness of the ingredients (usually leftovers), the efficient creativity, the homey feeling and the sense of hospitality: honma mon ‘genuine’, ambai ‘balance’, deaimon ‘encounter’, omotenashi ‘hospitality’, shimatsu ‘avoiding waste’.

Indeed, all ingredients used during the dinner can be found the day after in the local market: dried baby sardines cooked with greens and eggs, spinach and mushroom served with bonito flakes, rolled chicken and ichimi-based sauce or the incredible Shirako (cod soft roe) served with candied yuzu.

Not a kind of cuisine that would blow your mind (even if the shirako was the most audacious and surprising of the tastes) but that instead creates a sense of community and, almost, belonging.

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