Wednesday, November 21, 2012
Random Picture #137
One of the things that I did on a semi-regular basis when I was living in Japan was pick up a bag of frozen imagawayaki to keep in my freezer for breakfast or snacking. I liked the compact size and the fact that it was well-formulated such that it didn't suffer much (or at all) in quality for being a frozen food. In fact, I think that there were some ways in which it was superior to fresh versions.
Of course, that does depend on precisely how fresh it is. The picture above, taken in Asakusa, shows a man operating a machine to make these filled-pancake-style sweets. This shot was interesting not so much because it's a form of street food, but because it's so mechanized compared to the way that such things are usually made. All of those Borg-like tubes that plop batter and bean paste into molds represent a step up for the usual guy with a funnel and a spatula that is more common.
The entire set-up reminds me of the whole melding of the old (doing it by hand) with the new (but using modern equipment) that really is a tightly woven part of Japanese culture.