Why “Kaiseki-ryōri” tastes of “sour” and “bitter”?
“Washoku” terms of traditional Japanese cuisine is one of the most popular enchantment for visitors travelled to Japan which has been added to World Cultural Heritage list. “Japanese cuisine” is just a general called, it also includes sushi or tempura and other dishes. “Kaiseki-ryōri” probably will be a good choice for those travellers who have enough budget to spare.
“Kaiseki” initially mean “stone in the bosom”, the idea came from Zen monks would tuck hot stone next to their stomach in order to ward off hunger during their prayers. “Kaiseki-ryōri” was from Japanese tea ceremony meal served to customers by the host, and gradually becoming high-class meal in present time. “Kaiseki-ryōri” represents Japanese cuisine as meticulous preparation and gorgeous presentation.
“Kaiseki-ryōri” is a traditional multi-course of Japanese dinner. Before start to enjoy the full meal, you will be served by many small beautiful well-decorated plates with marvelous variety of taste essence. For foreign visitors might feeling special due to different eating culture. “Kaiseki-ryōri” also can be describe as seasonal course meal that contains nature ingredients of high quality which are carefully chosen according to the season. Green represents spring, and red stands for maple leaves in autumn. Finished dishes are carefully presented to enhance the season appearance and seasonal them of the meal.
However, some foreign visitors also felt confused perception such as “bitter” or “sour” of the “Kaiseki-ryōri”. The surprised texture of food is very differ from the ordinary izakayas or restaurants. In addition, to create “Kaiseki-ryōri” needs “五味五色五法”which meaning of 5 flavours, 5 colours and 5 cooking methods.5 flavours are including the taste of sour, salty, sweet, spicy and bitter. 5 colours contrain red, yellow, white, green and black.
5 cooking methods consist of raw, boil, grill, deep fry and steam. Throughout the combination of “5 flavours, colours and cooking method” the “Kaiseki-ryōri” is just like a piece of art form that balances the taste, texture, appearance, and colours of food.
In Japan, there is a description like “fate or chance that brings people together.” It is difficult to guess what's going on tomorrow. Therefore we should have appriciated on nature of what we are receiving while having “Kaiseki-ryōri” as it truly represents of Japanese art and ideology. The theory will help you to continue to experience with fresh new tastes and texture throughout the meal.