Thursday, September 11, 2008

JJNN Thursday: Culture - 08

Welcome again to JJNN for Thursday September 11th, 2008. Today we will be taking about a food that is eaten in the fall in Japan.

I am so happy that it is getting cooler. Of course the fact that the temperature is going down means that it is getting into fall, but it also means something else in Japan. It means that it is time for yaki-imo! I love yaki-imo. It is a great hot treat on a long cold night.

So what is yaki-imo? Well it is just basically baked sweet potatoes. They either cook them on a grill or in a hole or even on hot rocks. Some times you can see families gather together fallen leaves in their yard so they can cook the sweet potatoes on the burning leaves. Yaki-imo is extremely simple to make and so good to eat. Here is a picture of some yaki-imo.

Looks good right? Well there is only one problem with yaki-imo. Well, besides the high calorie problem. It is the fact that these potatoes are sold off the back of trucks. That would normally be a good thing because you don't have to go all the way to a store to buy them, right? Well, I guess it is good, but these trucks have to do something to get every one's attention and let everyone know that they are in the area. Well, they do that with loudspeakers. Just check out the clip below.

This one actually starts to play music, but a lot of them don't (thank a deity for that one). They basically drive around the residential districts and yell over the loud speakers about how great and tasty their potatoes are. I don't know about you, but the more I hear that yelling the less I want to buy a potato and the more I want to throw a brick at the truck.

Any way, it is now time for the word of the day. Today's word is 芋(いも). It is pronounced imo and means potato. Being from Maine, I am legally under a binding contract to tell you to buy Maine potatoes. Boycott Idaho! (Just kidding!)

That's it for today. See you next time at JJNN.


  1. Its the Japanese version of an ice cream truck. At least they don't play Pop Goes the Weasel over and over again like our ice cream trucks.

  2. I think I would take the ice cream trucks over these trucks, because I leave close to a major road where the potato trucks always runs around.