Finding Good Ham in Japan


This is the second post in a series; if you can find the connection to the first post, let me know. Anyhow, good ham and bacon are hard to come by in Japan. Typically the bacon is similar to cheap lunch meat ham in America, and the ham is the same product in a different shape. When I describe Thanksgiving meals with ham, most Japanese people aren’t impressed because they can’t picture ham that is good. I usually stun them into reconsidering their world view by suggesting we like to cook up an eight or nine kilogram ham. Imagining such a thing exists really boggles their minds.

There is a place called Moku Moku Farm, not too far from here, where they reportedly make and sell tasty smoked ham and sausage. They run a restaurant near the culture center as well. I am supposed to wait and go there with my girlfriend, but I think I might go without her because it has been months and we can’t work it out with our schedules. If it’s as good as they say, then I’d be willing to go again with her later anyhow. Mainly, I think she wants me to wait because she is friends with the owner and can get a discount.

Today I was meeting a few other teachers who are directly contracted to the city in order to discuss some of our common needs. We chose a restaurant called Uma no Sei (馬の背), or The Horse’s Back as our meeting place. Every time it is mentioned to me, without fail, it gets these three comments: good quality pork, enormous portions, and low price. I am forced to affirm all three. Technically, it is not a ham restaurant, but a pork cutlet restaurant; however, I chose the “roast” which is essentially a nice thick slab of ham.

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