I really love my job, and learning cooking secrets in English is one of the side benefits. I’ve been teaching for quite a long time now, but teaching in my own Smith’s School has got to be the best teaching job of them all. There are some obvious reasons for this. I mean, sure there is the discretion that I get deciding what to teach and to whom I teach it. There’s also the fact that on my time off I can explore a country that is not my own. But one of the unexpected jewels of this job was the student’s enthusiasm to teach me when they practice English.
Cooking Secrets in English
I have learned kanji and proverbs from my students. I have learned Japanese fairy tales and folklore. But one of the most useful things I have learned is about Japanese cooking. I love to learn cooking secrets in English from my students. You can read more about Japanese food here. You know, people love to talk about themselves, and they love to help others. Asking students about recipes and how to cook Japanese food often brings out the enthusiasm for helping and talking about themselves at the same time.
An Unexpected Thing Happened
The other day, an unexpected thing happened. My students were talking about life in another prefecture and what they liked about it. They mentioned some food that sounded intriguing. I asked them about it and they then exploded in a wealth of information about this food. It turns out that there is a food made in Niigata prefecture that is quite delicious and somewhat difficult to obtain, usually. It’s called ‘kanzuri’. It’s not a cooking secret in English yet, but it could be if it becomes more famous.
They Have an Unusual Way of Making It
It’s a kind of paste made from red chili peppers, a citrus fruit called ‘yuzu’ and a sort of rice paste. They have a very unusual way of making it that involves scattering the red chili peppers across the snow and leaving them there for several days. They claim it makes the chilies sweeter. Mixing the chilies with a citrus fruit is something that I had never heard of before. On top of that, it is often difficult to get this paste because it is a family business and they aren’t making it in factories across Japan. In fact, I heard the exact way to making it is a cooking secret. It is not available in grocery stores. Often you have to order it direct from the maker on the internet. If you use it in your recipes you can call it a great cooking secret in English.
Letting me in on a Secret
My students told me, with the air of letting me in on a cooking secret in English, that I could get it at a store right here in my community! Naturally, hearing all this was too much and I decided to go and try it right away. One week later, I was cooking up my lunch with this paste as a seasoning. Indeed, it has a very unusual taste that I had never experienced before. In fact, there is a chef at an expensive restaurant in Las Vegas Nevada who specially orders it for some items on his menu.
I’m looking forward to learning the next cooking secret from my students now!