Japanese Pasta: You’re Not in Italy Anymore

One of the most fascinating things about food in Japan is how many foreign foods have been reinterpreted and reinvented in ways that make them distinctively Japanese.  I’ve talked previously about tonkatsu (deep fried pork cutlet) which is the Japanese version of German schnitzel and American chicken fried steak.  And of course there is ramen, which is Chinese in origin but has evolved into a quintessential Japanese dish.

What you may not be as familiar with is the Japanese take on pasta, the stuff that (according to legend) Marco Polo introduced to Italy from the Far East and the Italians have exported right back.  You can find Italian pasta in Tokyo and, depending on where you go, it can be quite good.  However, the Japanese have also developed their own unique versions that reflect local ingredients and flavors.

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