Moyashimon Giveaway: your culinary manga story

Bento #29: Moyashimon Bento!
I love eating.

I love eating things I know. I love eating things I don’t know.

Some call it for science, but for me, it’s closer to epicurean curiosity. There’s a lot of things we stuff in our mouths and we hardly even question how these things are made or where they came from. Somehow, we have reduced ourselves to eating whatever tastes great and somehow that makes the eating experience half as fun as it should.

Moyashimon is a manga I grew to love not only because of the cute bacterias (that seems to be a great hit among most fans) but because the series unravels the mystery of the food we eat, particularly strange fermented food that we’d rather not touch with a ten-foot pole.

The leader of this ragtag crew is none other than Itsuki-sensei, a culinary explorer, the kind that would possibly dive in underground caves just to taste what bats eat at night. Well, not really. But seeing him glug down a kiviak’s blood on the first chapter only shows his enthusiasm for anything fermented. The man is a connoisseur when it comes to his food and whether he sees the bacteria or not, he will definitely have a taste for food.

And Itsuki-sensei’s love for food is nothing but admirable. I’ve seen him lead the boys down crazy roads of wine making and cheese making just to teach them the intricate machinery of balancing bacteria and food. Odd, isn’t it? Who knew that we need the very germs that we hate to make food taste a lot better.

And reading through the pages of Moyashimon has left me wondering if those food really tasted great. What was the difference between a Bulgarian yogurt from a Japanese yogurt? Just how can the natto bacteria really change a soybean?

The countless of products featured in Moyashimon eventually led me to a strange trip towards our local Japanese Grocer. I found myself standing in front of rows of natto and tried to sum up the courage to try this culinary curiosity. Strange things entered my head, one of which was hearing a soft whisper from Itsuki-sensei, egging me to give it a try. It didn’t help that prior to that day, I had been watching Iron Chef and saw this epic natto battle. Just… what exactly does this bean have for the Japanese folks to consume it so much. And after ten other people picked up a pack of natto before me, I eventually got the courage to have some natto. I eventually chose the packet that had a happy family drawn on it. I thought, if they looked happy, then I’d probably be happy too.

What came after was a total surprise. Not only did the natto not kill me but I also ended up loving natto.

I’m quite sure I’m not alone when it comes to trying out some food because of manga. Whether it’s strawberry shortcake or even pizza hut, I’m confident in saying that there’s a number of you who tried out something because of a subtle product placement in manga.

I’d like to hear your story and I’d love to hear what manga encouraged you to try something new to eat! It doesn’t have to be as crazy as what I did but it’s definitely a taste that you definitely owe to a manga~!

As an incentive, I’m giving away Volume 2 of Moyashimon for one of our epicurean readers! It’s one of my favorite food/agriculture manga and I’m quite sure you’ll find the epic fermentation journey of Itsuki-sensei interesting!

This giveaway open to all of my readers from Manila, to Japan, to Poland, and even in the US. Just leave a comment about your culinary manga journey and you might have a chance of winning Moyashimon! And yes, it’s theEnglish version.

Winners will be selected at 6 a.m., August 12, 2011, Hong Kong Standard Time. That’d be 6:00 p.m. EST for those who live in New York, noon for those who live in London, and 5 a.m. for those in Japan.

Note: The Moyashimon bento above is from Anna the Red! She makes fantastic character bentou. You guys should check out her ghibli bento too!



13 thoughts on “Moyashimon Giveaway: your culinary manga story”

  • I started eating onigiri pretty often after seeing it so much in manga. Mine are nowhere near authentic levels, but still pretty tasty! We tried a few different fillings too.

    • Oh yes. Onigiri is indeed one of the good places to start. I heard in the US, in the need to appropriate, they even called it a donut! XDD 

    • OMG your illustrations are adorable!! *A*) I don’t consider it a cheat, but pretty much something that’s meant to be shared out there! <3 

      If you don't mind, may I share one of your illustrations? Can I use the cover on how to make Hijiki? I looove Hijiki too! I got curious about it thanks to Nodame!

  • Soba Noddles and Miso Soup along with SOumn all are foods I tried becuese of Fruits Basket refrnceing them either Soba becuese of the New Year’s episode Soumon becuese I actually wanted to see if their was a Pink Soumn in it and Miso soup becuese it is just such a staple to Japanese cusine (breakfest in paticuler)

    • Yes! Miso soup! How can we forget Miso Soup! XDD Somehow, there’s not a manga where we can’t have a taste of miso soup! 

  • For me, it was katsuobushi, or dried, fermented tuna flakes. I saw it in Oishinbo, and was intrigued, because i love tuna, and could not for my life imagine it dried or fermented, let alone both. I grew kind of addicted for a while, and would just have it plain on rice a lot, or make really concentrated soup stock from it. It was a pricy addiction, too, since I had to buy it in import Asian grocery stores (I’m originally from Germany).
    Because of Moyashimon, I still want to try Natto, but haven’t had a chance (and am mighty intimidated!)…

    • Hahaha! Do not be intimidated by the ways of natto! Although, if you’re not into deeply fermented stuff, it’s not advisable. Think of it as a stinky gooey but yummy fermented cheese~ 

      Have you ever tried hiyayako? It’s basically cold tofu, with some ponzu or soy sauce, and then some katsuoboshi on top. <3 Loooovely~<3 

  • As a kid, my Japanese food knowledge was limited to tuna sashimi and tempura. Noodles for me was strictly Chinese food. Oddly enough, it wasn’t a food manga that made me more adventurous. Ranma 1/2 had a lot of food in it, and somehow the way it was used made me very curious to try them (not as a weapon though, hehe). My tita would wonder where I’ve heard about such food and I’d point to my manga collection.

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