History of frozen food in Japan
Frozen food is usually a concept of the west where things are pre-made, lasts longer than fresh ingredients and in times of quick, fast meals. All you need is a refrigerator and you could survive on packaged food until you learn how to cook. Japan has a variety of frozen food and has an unique history in japan. Considering Japan’s cuisine centers around sea food, in the days before fish could be frozen, it was preserved with salt or by sun drying it. In the second half of 19th century, Japan opened up to the outside world which had a huge impact on eating habits and meat was started to be consumed. The first freezer was delivered in the 1920, after which the freezing technology evolved rapidly.
During the then one week Olympics, 6000 meals had to be prepared each day, buying everything fresh would cause shortages in the general public. Frozen food offered a way out. It started with understanding that frozen potatoes could be reheated and cooked. Murakami Nobuo was the chef who experimented on various items which could be frozen and preparation methods for the same. These meals were then served to the athletes themselves which was agreed that frozen food tasted just like fresh food.
Frozen food helps in reducing the wastage of rotting vegetable or to get ingredients from tropical regions to other countries preserving for a long time. It makes it possible to send food all over the world. Frozen dried food has also reached space since 2000, Space food is made using all kinds of ingredients, and Japanese meals were especially popular. Freeze drying satisfies all the strict conditions of NASA like hygiene, nutritional value, long shelf life etc. You can preserve a wide variety of food, but there are some that are difficult to be frozen, like sea urchins and sushi.
Living in Japan is as convenient as it can get when it comes to food as most of good quality food can be bought frozen from the super markets and takes 5-10 minutes to cook then or heat them in the oven and finish the meal for the day. It is popular because of the increase in single people living or mothers having to juggle between job and home. It makes life easier and one less thing to stress about. Try out the various frozen items you can find in the supermarkets.