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Japanese bowls

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Just like plates, bowls are inseparable tools from Japanese tableware. For at least a millennium they have elegantly presented a large part of the dishes that Japanese cuisine has to offer us. Although here in Europe bowls are not used to taste main dishes, the Japanese do not hesitate to use them to taste a little bit of everything like ramen, rice, soup, tea and even meat.

A few tips to take advantage of Japanese bowls

Just like Japanese plates, Japanese bowls are obviously not to be chosen at random from a table service and are not used in the same way depending on what they are presented (ramen, rice, soup, etc.). In addition, the Japanese knew how to combine the material, color, patterns and size of the bowls as they knew how to do for the plates. The result of know-how is naturally a huge choice of Japanese bowls and it is indeed not an easy task to make your choice when you wish to acquire your first set of Japanese bowls.

Overall, we remain in the same principle as that which we invoked during the presentation of the art of the table and the plates. That is to say the principle of contrast. Which leads to choosing your bowls by mismatching them with the color and shape of the food they present. However, the size will vary depending on what the bowl must support. Therefore, small-sized Japanese bowls will be intended to accommodate rice or at least rice-based dishes. Medium-sized bowls will generally be used to serve noodles, and large Japanese bowls will generally accommodate large soups. Afterwards, there is no formal rule requiring you to follow these rules literally and it is not surprising to see rice served in medium-sized bowls. It's also necessary for big gourmands! You are therefore free to let your personal tastes and desires guide you towards one set of bowls rather than another.

To go further with Japanese bowls…

If Japanese bowls are something that appeals to you and interests you in particular, you will not be disappointed when you discover the many styles of bowls that have existed and still exist in Japan. Because in addition to their technical characteristics, certain families of bowls were born which differ quite clearly from their counterparts.

Firstly we find the chawan which are small tea bowls which are characterized by their fairly wide shape for a rather lower height, but above all for their old appearance and their very special design. They are often used in tea houses as well as during the tea ceremony in Japan. Staying with the theme of tea, yunomi are also tea bowls but which, conversely, are rather high and not very wide. As for the main course, we find the donburi bowls as well as the nimonowan bowls, respectively used to enjoy ramen and meat and vegetable dishes. Finally, we find shiru wan which are used to drink soups and kobachi which are used for starters or aperitifs. 🍤

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