Slight change of pace today as I have just returned to Kanazawa from an ambitious trip to the US. Since food and food culture are never far from my mind, much of my culture shock was culinary: actual vegetarian options! The cereal aisle! The peanut-butter aisle! Food labeled with allergy and dietary restriction information! Take-away boxes for large meals! Sourdough bread! Being able to substitute side dishes and ingredients!
Mostly it was neutral or positive shock; I was really happy to have plenty of choices to eat in the major metropolitan centers, rediscover some hometown favorites, and–you guessed it–have a constant flow of craft beer on draft. You all know how much I love Michigan and Michigan beer, but we didn’t visit my beloved second-homestate on this coast-to-coast whirlwind adventure. But between the two coasts and the Midwest, everyone I visited in the US, from my high school friends to my parents and in-laws, were determined to show me the beer time of my life on my trip home. Even the bride made sure there’d be nice dark beer for me and our real-beer-loving Japan cohort at the West Coast wedding! As a result, I got to enjoy some old favorites and try some new contenders, including some from Mt. Carmel Brewing Company, a microbrewery in my hometown of Cincinnati. [...]