Don't Eat With Your Mouth Full

Where can we live but days?

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Solstice Orange
British Winter Solstice tradition: pop over to Stonehenge (round about now) to watch the sun rise over the heel stone. Except that it's drizzling there at the moment...

Japanese Winter Solstice tradition: take a hot bath with a few dozen aromatic yuzu and some friends.

Which to do, which to do?

Stonehenge is only an hour away by car, but I feel strangely drawn to the yuzu option. Except that I can't buy yuzu in this country! Would satsumas do at a pinch?

(In Satsuma, by the way, they don't call satsumas satsumas, they call them mikan. My friend Chiho was surprised to hear that the region had somehow become the name of a fruit in English. I, conversely, had to stop myself from laughing every time she mentioned "the Satsuma wars" or "the lords of Satsuma".)

I was so enamoured of yuzu when in Japan that, wandering around the streets of Kyoto (as I think I mentioned here at the time) I made a little rhyme to express my love, in the style of Cole Porter:

There's a fruit called the yuzu I eat all the time;
It's bitter, but better than lemon or lime.
If you too like yuzu, feel free to share mine!
Won't you do the yuzu with me?

Now it occurs to me that, many years before, I had also improvised a paean to the humble satsuma - to be sung to the tune of "We'll have a Dalmatian plantation":

I am a satsuma consumer,
Consuming satsumas all day -
It's not just a rumour,
Consuming satsumas
Has chased my blues away.

But - oh no! I don't have any satsumas either!

Oh well, Radox it will have to be... And happy sun-returning.

If you too like yuzu, feel free to share mine!

You make a very good Citron Porter.

Happy solstice!

Thug life.

You know it.

I, conversely, had to stop myself from laughing every time she mentioned "the Satsuma wars" or "the lords of Satsuma".

This did me in. :)


Thank you - I hadn't seen that. Mind you, at £5.60 a pop, it might be cheaper to go to Japan and do it there!

That would be an astonishingly inexpensive flight.

From the Japanese spa not far from my parents' house, we get yuzu-scented shampoo and skin lotion. Mmmmm.

Alas, the only spa near here is a Roman one. Perhaps they sell garum-flavoured skin lotion?

I think as a general rule, foods named for places are not known by those names in those places. In the US we have these things called "French fries" (except when some politician is annoyed at France, and proposes calling them something else), but they're not only not called that in France, they're not called that in Britain either. You, of course, call them "chips"; what we call chips you call crisps; if you asked for crisps in the US you'd probably get the reply "crisp what?" since here "crisp" is merely an adjective.

In the US we also have these things called Danish pastries. I don't know if they're called that in Britain or not; I've never seen them there. We call them Danish because we originally got them from Danish immigrants. But the Danes call them Viennese bread, because they originally got them from Viennese immigrants. What they're called in Austria I don't know.

If you asked for Swiss cheese in Switzerland you'd probably get the reply, "What kind of Swiss cheese?" What we call Swiss cheese is properly known as Emmenthaler. Whether it bears that name in Emmental I don't know.

This is very true. (And yes, we too have Danish - the name presumably imported from America.) You won't be surprised to learn, either, that in England English muffins are muffins without qualification.

We do have "American cheese" (nasty processed stuff it is), as well as New York cheddar (infinitely better) and the like.

I forget whether I have told you this story before: when my daughters were little, they used to mix up the words "satsuma" and "persimmon," and refer alternately to "persumas" and "satsimmons."

I don't believe you have. That's very charming!

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