Curry in Japan
There are certain foods that you start to crave when it’s hot: something light maybe, or something cold to cool you down. Surprisingly, one of the most popular dishes during summer in Japan is curry! As the temperature increases by 1℃, the sale of curry rises by 5%.
Curry was introduced to Japan via the British in the second half of the nineteenth century. British curry developed into Japanese curry. The dish became popular in Japanese homes when the dried curry roux was introduced as it made the dish more convenient and accessible.
Why curry in summer?
People love curry so much that even Japanese schools serve it for lunch. Restaurants make summer curry menus called ‘natsu curry’ (summer curry). The ingredients used in summer curries are slightly different. Usually potatoes and carrots are added to the curry, but in summer, tomato, aubergine, pumpkin, okra are often used.
It is often the case in countries that experience hot and humid summers, such as India and Thailand, spicy curries often prevail as one of the most popular dishes. Each country has their own spin on the curry dish but similar spices are used.
In Japan, the summer is hot and extremely humid, so many people lose their appetite during summer. People like to eat curry as the mix of spices is said to awaken your appetite and as a result, you feel more energetic.
Japanese people believe that the spices present in the curry are believed to cool down your body and improve metabolism. It makes you perspire and stimulates your appetite which is otherwise non-existent during the long humid days.