In my first piece on airline meals, I explored a few in-flight meals that I tried in 2018 and 2019, just prior to the pandemic. With certain countries remaining stubbornly shut, the photos of plane food have bizarrely become my last memories of parts of East Asia.
Maybe that should serve as a lesson to not take so many airline meal photos.
In any event, they don’t all — bad pun incoming — leave a bad taste in the mouth. In fact, some of the airline food is downright decent, and occasionally merit consideration for display at a culinary institute. Or a five-star restaurant.
Or even an art museum. Enter, the Japanese fish ball.
Known in Japan as つみれ (tsumire), they were introduced from China centuries ago, mostly likely from traders originating in the present-day provinces of Fujian and Guangdong. With any luck, the main ingredient is fish, typically horse mackerel and sardines; miso paste, egg, and leek commonly round out the rest of the recipe. Then, the mix is rolled up into dumplings and boiled.
That’s all fine and good, until you fly with Japan Airlines.
From the country that brought us white bread stuffed with mochi, and a cartoon character named after a fish paste named after a whirlpool, I present the multicolored tsumire.
Like Jules Verne, I’m aware that there are countless undiscovered species swimming around our oceans and inside our water bottles. Let’s be real, though– was there really a need to dye one fish ball, let alone an entire bowl of them?
n.b. it was Japanese food after all, so I finished the whole damn thing.
Have you ever encountered Roy G. Biv in your meals?