Each week, my Meal of the Week feature examines an airline meal from my travels over the years. This may be a meal from earlier in the week or it may be a meal served over a decade ago.
I’m doing my best to be a more adventurous eater in 2019. If you’ve read my blog for a while, you know that I really struggle with Asian food (especially Japanese, unless it is teppanyaki).
The meal below actually dates back several years, but it represents what I want to become more comfortable at eating. As I develop business relationships in East Asia, I find myself at many dinners in which food is served that I would never otherwise order. The polite thing is to smile and eat it…but I’d like to do more than that…I’d like to enjoy it.
Perhaps that is too ambitious a goal, but I’m ashamed to admit that although I have been to more than 130 countries and to nearly every country in Asia, I’m just bad, bad, bad at deviating from comfort food (which includes most dishes from the other five inhabited continents).
And in order to better appreciate and acquire a taste for food, I need to know what it is I am eating. The dish below was served on an afternoon ANA flight from Tokyo Haneda to Seoul Gimpo. It was a short flight and there was no choice of meal.
Service began with a snack mix. A main course of beef with rice and a box of assorted delicacies followed`.
Again, I’m not proud at all that I could not identify half the contents in the box. Obviously, there is shrimp and fish, but the other stuff? Beans? What are these items called in Japanese? Is this a normal lunch or snack? Is this Bento? And the main course…does it have a proper name?
I’m not trying to be deliberately obtuse. I know there is this great thing called the Google. But this little meal shows me I still have a long way to go in terms of being a better world traveler and international businessman.