Last weekend, in another attempt to escape the heat, Tetsu and I went out to a river to listen to the gurgling water and sample some river fish. River fish is not my favorite but it does seem like that is what we should eat while we are watching a river.
Japanese love ayu (translated as a "sweetfish" in my Japanese-English dictionary) and the small visitor's area where we ended up had a fishing trap built along the river that ayu will swim into. Actually I don't object to the taste of ayu but rather the way it is served. Gulp. Fresh ayu are speared and "sewn" onto a skewer and then salted and stuck around a low burning fire. And then served... Just like that. This way of eating river fish is traditional throughout Japan, but for us foreigners it takes some getting used to. To eat ayu you just pick up the skewer and bite. I keep my mind on other things while the crispy fish face brushes my cheek.
"Oh yes, Tetsu. The ayu is delicious. No please go ahead. One ayu is enough for me."
Now THIS is the type of fish I like! The same day, Tetsu and I stopped for taiyaki which is a sweet pancake with different things inside. In this case I enjoyed the sweet bean paste and green tea whipped cream. Yum!!! And these cute bite sized pieces had bean paste or custard cream or chocolate inside them. A surprise in every bite!
Now would you prefer the ayu or the taiyaki? Take your pick!