Tara Kamiya


Buffalo Burger
What's on baby's Plate?

My husband is a chef.

That means that our household has the good fortune of always having great meals at the ready. It means cool kitchen gadgets, nice ingredients, and it also means crazy overzealous behavior.

I was shocked that my husband had the energy, but after hours of work he decided to sit down and tell me a tale, a food tale of epic consequence. Turns out a friend of his has a bi-racial grandchild. Well this child is being raised by his Americanized mom and since turning 3 has rejected all Japanese tasting food.

His fear is that this disaster will happen to our son. Heaven forbid a child of a Japanese chef hate Japanese food!

Now this is where I come in. My husband gives me this look of disdain before I could say ‘miso’. He urged me vehemently to become fluent in preparing Japanese home cooked meals so that our son would not fall from grace.
I understand his position, it would be a bit of an embarrassment for him, but must I become Morimoto?

I love Japanese food, I just don’t want to be forced to prepare it or feel guilty for feeding my child healthy food from my culture or any other culture for that matter.

Unsure of what to do I nodded and said, “Yes Honey”. I always answer his insanity the same way.

This issue is not resolved, I am still charged with becoming a private Iron Chef for an infant but I would love to know what you think, or how you would handle the situation.

4 thoughts on “Native Tongue

  1. My cousin was born and raised in the US and she even has the annoying valley girl accent but when it comes to food, she eats like a full blooded Indian(south asian)…she loves her spicy curries and roti and rice as much an indian girl from India. That’s because she was raised by a single father who(being a immigrant) mostly cooked familiar indian home food. sometimes, when the rest of the extended family visit, we all smile at the fact that except for her physical appearance & food preferences, you can hardly tell her indian side. lol.

  2. Tara, I agree with you both. On one hand, you don’t want your children to reject all things from one side of their culture, but it seems a pain to push yourself to make sure that one culture will be appreciated. I think that it often works though and in many cases it seems worth it, but it will likely always be difficult to get your children to prefer any culture over the dominant one that they live in. Most parents struggle the same way with language. The father may be the one who’s fluent, but since the mom is home all day with the kids (in some cases), she has to do the biggest part to maintain their language proficiency. I guess it’s kind of the same thing in a way. I don’t know if cooking more Japanese food is the answer, but it certainly couldn’t hurt…as long as they are craving it. Sometimes pressuring kids to eat certain foods can make it even worse…so it’s a fine line that you have to walk. It’s not easy either way. Let me know what you come up with, I’m interested too. 🙂

  3. I definitely understand why he feels so passionate about your son developing a palate for Japanese Food. But at the same time learning to a cook a cuisine from scratch just like momma used to make…everyday is definitely a daunting task. I don’t think there is anything wrong with implementing Japanese food with other foods so he has a broadened palette and make it easier for you as well. Maybe that can some kind of middle ground. I watch “Cooking with Dog” on Youtube often and it makes Japanese cooking more accessible. Maybe that might help

  4. I just found out about Cooking with Dog.LOL Thanks for your comment. I will do my best.

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