What's for dessert?

Good morning everyone,

It's going to start out nice, but it'll rain later today. If you're going to be out late, you'd better take an umbrella with you. Then, it's going to rain all day tomorrow (thanks Mother Nature, REALLY wanted to run the Miyajima Cross Country Race in the rain<--that's sarcasm). It'll clear up and be nice on Monday and Tuesday.

Men are, in many ways, simple creatures. Our two greatest desires in life are, without question, women and food (with sports and beer coming in third and fourth).

While a tasty meal or a good-looking lady with a nice personality are both things to be thankful for on their own, it’s hard to top the bliss that comes from eating a home-cooked meal made by the girl you like. Still, just as guys have preferences in women, they’ve also got preferences in food, as revealed in a poll that asked Japanese men what dish prepared by their girlfriend makes them the happiest.

Internet portal My Navi Women surveyed 114 men, all out of college and between the ages of 22 and 39. Let’s take a look at the top 10.

10. Stew – 14.9 percent

KR 1

While in English “stew” can refer to just about any hearty soup, in Japan it almost always indicates a creamy white sauce broth with carrots, potatoes, chicken, and other assorted vegetables.

8 (tie). Nimono – 15.8 percent

KR 2

Coming from the Japanese verb niru, meaning to stew, nimono is a catch-all term for any dish of stewed vegetables, meat, or fish. Daikon radish is a popular nimono standby, but the linguistic loophole means that just about any ingredient can be used.

8 (tie). Gratin – 15.8 percent

KR 3

One of Japan’s favorite Western-inspired dishes, gratin is made by baking a pan of pasta, white sauce, cheese, and just about anything else you care to add.

7. Ginger pork – 19.3 percent

KR 4

Japanese cooking usually doesn’t go as heavy in the ginger as man other Asian cuisines do. Ginger pork is an exception, though, and the thin strips of meat are often cooked along with sliced onion for extra flavor.

6. Karaage – 21.1 percent

KR 5

Also known as Japanese-style fried chicken, karaage can be seasoned with garlic, salt, soy sauce, and/or ginger.

5. Miso soup – 25.4 percent

KR 6

Right on the heels of the decadently high-calorie karaage come this low-key, health-conscious choice. While it’s an ubiquitous part of a traditional Japanese meal, every household makes their miso soup a little differently, and this atmosphere of at-home intimacy is probably why it ranks so high on the list. Plus, there’s the fact that the line “Will you make me miso soup every morning?”, which is a very old-school, very-indirect way of proposing marriage.

4. Rice omelet – 28.9 percent

KR 7

Another mix of Japanese and Western culinary sensibilities, the rice inside is usually seasoned with ketchup, and mixed with pieces of chicken and mushroom. Extra credit if you draw a heart in ketchup on top, and even more points if you write your and your boyfriend’s name beside it. Of all the things on this list, this is the only one that doesn't appeal to me...sorry, all you omurice lovers...

3. Nikujaga – 29.8 percent

KR 8

Technically, nikujaga, being a bowl of stewed pork, potatoes, carrots, and onions, falls under the nimono category we talked about above. This is such an iconic combination, though, that it gets its own special name, not to mention a special place in the heart of many simple, old-fashioned guys. What else would you expect from a dish with a name that literally means “meat and potatoes?”

2. Hamburger steak – 32.5 percent

KR 9

It’s basically a hamburger, but without a bun (and yes, we have these back home, but they're usually served with a kind of gravy). It's usually really juicy and tastes best with grated daikon and shiso.

1. Curry – 41.2 percent

KR 10

Having your girlfriend make a batch of curry also has a number of unique upsides. In general, it’s just as easy to make a whole pot as a single serving, so a guy can usually look forward to leftovers the next day. Speaking of which, like spaghetti sauce, the taste of curry goes through subtle transformations even after it’s done cooking, which means there’s a new flavor to enjoy when digging into a plate of leftovers.

Perhaps most appealing of all is the timing involved in cooking curry. In the beginning, there’s a lot of prep work that needs to be done, what with peeling the potatoes, slicing the carrots, and setting the rice cooker. Once you’ve got everything in the pot, though, there’s a long period of simmering to wait through, which gives the loving couple ample time to…well, maybe have a little dessert before dinner...ha ha!

Have a great day!

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