Remember that thirst, that unquenchable terrible thirst the last time you had Japanese food (preferably in Japan) or maybe even Chinese food? Ahh, the quintessence of all Japanese chefs’ compositions, the tool that makes their creations so irressistable, the secret ingredient, the key umami component, the only thing that makes our taste buds dance at the first bite (because actually they have been poisoned, overpowered and numbed): monosodium glutamate (MSG).
I am actually still shocked by how many people, especially Japanese people, seem to be oblivious to why their food is tasting so good. I am surprised that even Americans I have met rave about Japanese food that much and do not know that the secret umami is nothing more than that chemical compound.
Now obviously, the world devides into two sorts of countries: those raised on MSG and those raised without the use of MSG.
Take for example Australia, where children are basically spoon-fed with MSG from childhood (Vegemite). In contrast to that, in Germany we do have MSG food additives in the form of sauces (Maggi Würzsoße) or similiar, but not many people feed it to their children. Which is probably why I experience some Australians realizing that the Japanese food is not actually good (also food quality in Australia is quite amazing, if you ask me).
So think about it, getting MSG fed as a child, everything tastes amazing to you. As a Japanese (spoilt) child, you will get out into the world as a man-child and think: Japanese food tastes so much better! And you are so wrong. It’s the MSG that makes the Japanese food taste better but if you take it out, you have some way more bland-tasting dish. However because of the professional brainwashing in this country, you will probably say that it still tastes good even if it does not (because people are social beings and tend to say it tastes good even when it does not but everyone else says it tastes good).
Besides that, how are you ever going to know the real tastes of the ingredients if MSG makes everything taste so incredibly intense, as in it makes your senses drunk in a way? How are you going to know it’s not actually rotten or at least partly rotten food in your dish? Surely the MSG can mask the bad food quality very well because when your senses are drunk, you are definitely not going to be the sober food inspector. What does it mean now, if you can’t taste whether your food is fresh or not? Yes, literally, you could be eating food that has long since gone bad or even worse - is not even food at all but some sort of plastic or substitute.
when cooking at home is sometimes more expensive than meals at most reasonably-priced restaurants, it starts to get suspicious
I already hear the ‘conspiracy’ comments calling me out on this but from my own experience, you must be stupid to think that Japanese food quality is good. Compared internationally, it is supposed to be not much worse than Germany but I do believe that the actual quality of foods in restaurants is way lower than the quality of foods used for however they measured the quality (certain foods give me and some other white people I know stomach problems... and yes, only in Japan).
So can we please stop saying how Japanese food is amazing? Or can we at least start praising food that does not have MSG in it? And also let’s stop raving over sushi which is basically rice bathed in sugar (among other seasonings)? Eat high grade sashimi with very very little soy sauce (better yet: none, or at least organic) and you will actually be surprised by how ‘normal’ and not overpowering it tastes.
So I do hope we don’t kill each other with spreading MSG on all the bad stuff we should not eat, finally get back to eating ‘real’, adult, non-sugared non-MSG non-GMO food that we know the actual taste of so we can survive as a cultivated race who can taste every single ingredient as what it is - and not for the overpowering opium-of-the-people umami flavour.
Asking for too much? Probably. Am I going to give up my stop-Japanese-propaganda attitude? Never.