My Australian friend once mentioned to me during his first visit to Japan that he noticed that eating is interacting in Japan.
At many sushi place, you grinde your own wasabi.
We mix chopped nori, ground ginger to our taste at the table when we eat cold soba noodle.
We beat our own egg to mix with soy sauce for fermented beans, natto.
Today, my Japanese friend asked me, why do Americans like to just bite into a whole apple instead of peeling it and cutting them up when he watched me biting into a whole tomato during lunch. My brown bag lunch was a hard roll, whole tomato, cheese and olives.
I don’t know why. I just know I enjoy an apple a lot more, get more satisfaction out of biting into it. I confessed to my friend that mother-in-law is angel of a person, but I dislike the way she serves apples at home. She carefully peels them, cuts them up into nice slices, dip them into salt water to prevent browning of it before serving it on a nice plate. My friend commented, that’s the way we eat apples. My other friend who was listening commented, yes, me too.