Since the second week of moving into my host family, I’ve religiously had the same breakfast every morning. And I’m not complaining, my cereal with little strawberry lumps is BOMB. So, I sat in comfort, thinking that this favourite cereal of mine would always be purchasable. Why wouldn’t it be, right? WRONG. Little did I know that in quite a few places in the world, including Japan, food is seasonal…
This, shall we say, phenomenon, was first introduced to me by a Chinese friend of mine I met in the language school. During a class break, using a world map that happened to be on the inner-back cover of one of our textbooks, she described the different places in China to me by stating their name (which flew over my head) and which season they have their yummiest food. I just nodded my head dumbly at the time, thinking that their food must only be dominated more by the local seasonal produce.
But, when my host mum informed me one morning that the new bag of my favourite cereal she had given me was the last, I was dumbfounded. Why on earth???
She said simply that the cereal was out of season and so shops have stopped selling it. As an alternative, she presented me with a new bag of cereal from the same brand, it was also strawberry flavoured (see feature image).
I tried the offending cereal for breakfast that morning, in the mindset that I had to now ration my last original bag… my precious.
My host mum asked me which one I liked better and I told her the old one. She nodded in understanding and sympathy. It seems I’m not the only one who has been duped by seasonality of food products here.
But then she starts whipping out her seasonal plate sets, describing how she’d switch them up according to the season, and I’m a like DAMN, even their dining wear!
The fact that some food products, like cereal, are man-made, doesn’t stop their seasonality… for some reason (why!?). At least now I know that when I find something delicious, I’ll probably need to horde it like I’m storing for the apocalypse, xD.
Until next time,