Where’s the Curry?

Filed under:☽2004,Culture — posted by JAWjaw on 7/6/2004 @ 5:03 am

Continuing on the subject of food, much has changed in the past 30 years as far a local cuisine. There are so many gourmet ethnic restaurants, I bet someone could dine-out for breakfast, lunch, and dinner for well over one year and never use the same establishment once! Numerous mainland Japanese companies have brought their well-established restaurant chains to Okinawa in the past 10 years. Also, quite a few local chefs have shared their culinary talents, spiced with original local twists, by opening independent restaurants. Many of these eateries provide full-course dinners that make your mouth water at the thought of their delicacies. Several of the items offered by the chefs are not even available at local super markets. (The chefs grow their own herbs or have contracts with local farmers for the produce.) With all of this “gourmetization” Okinawans have seemed to have forgotten one of the truly scrumptious staples of local cuisine from the ’70s, Obaa Curry!!! Not the boxed type, the kind that is made from scratch with yellow curry powder and is crammed full of chunky vegetables like potatoes, carrots, onions, and bell peppers. It used to be found everywhere on Okinawa. But like many of the smaller Mom & Pop stores in the Midwest U.S., it is almost impossible to locate a restaurant that serves the staple anymore! It may not have the glamorous image projected by fancy steak and lobster dinners. It doesn’t even have the marketability of the ever present goya—you can’t make obaa curry juice for export, or obaa curry maracas for Japanese tourists, or even cute little obaa curry animated characters for TV commercials—but to see this particular item go the way of the dinosaurs would be, in my opinion, a great loss indeed.

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