Cool stuff! For what it’s worth, the Japanese wikipedia entry (http://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/たたみいわし) for tatami iwashi uses the kanji 畳鰯. The second half of Google’s first translation uses katakana, which is used for transliterating foreign words into Japanese, and probably isn’t quite right here.
The second way of writing tatami iwashi uses the ‘basic’ Japanese alphabet – it spells it out syllable by syllable, and will be readable by just about everyone in Japan.
The wikipedia entry also says that tatami iwashi is made using カタクチイワシ (katakuchi iwashi), or, to give it its latin name, Engraulis japonica (Japanese anchovy). So, related to sardines, but not actually sardines.
And that’s about where my useful knowledge ends. Your final dish looks delicious, and that’s probably the most important thing!
Holy shit, Sarah Ogle for the fucking win. Apparently I should have just emailed you about this before I ever got so mired in it!
Ha! Glad to be of service. Language is fascinating. Turns out katakana is also used for technical and scientific terms, or names of plants/animals/minerals, so ignore my first comment on that. Also, this all depends on how much you trust wikipedia, but I’m willing to assume that the .jp version is accurate on Japanese food.
The effort you put into this project is astounding! I especially enjoyed this post because of the formatting. It was somehow much easier to follow, and I feel like your personality came through much more clearly to boot. Keep up the good work 🙂
Hey thanks so much Veronica! That’s so lovely of you to say…I really appreciate it!
Agh–you can still see the anchovies’ eyes after frying! (Sorry, I’ve yet to get over my squeamishness when it comes to food with eyes. [Says the person picking up 1 lb of chicken feet from the butcher today.])
Apart from that, this dish looks beautiful. And I like the handwritten format, especially your drawing of Google Translate. Would this dish have been a sort of amuse bouche in the Alinea lineup? I have no idea what the ebb and flow of dishes at an Alinea sitting is actually like.
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