Can you have too much of a good thing?

Growing up in America, I thought I didn’t like rice. The long grain variety we largely consume is bland and starchy and not all that appealing. Then I came to Japan and realized that I LOVE rice!

The rice here is plump, sweet and delicious and comes in a dizzying variety of types and dishes. Every locale seems to have its own special brand of rice and then there’s the question of how much to mill it and how best to prepare it. Far from a bland staple, it’s the complex and culturally significant glue that holds traditional Japanese cuisine together.

Having said that though, I’m more than satisfied with one bowl of rice per meal, unlike Twitterer @hane_hiyo, who decided to make an entire meal of rice dishes.

That’s a lot of white rice, folks. Let’s break it down a bit.

From the top left, clockwise, we have a salted rice ball, rice porridge, vinegared rice, mochi rice, rice in water for a “soup”, white rice as the main dish, and, for the coup de grace, uncooked rice for chopstick practice.

This passion for the national food seems to have struck a chord with other Japanese Internet users. At the time of writing, the picture has been retweeted nearly 16,000 times and was picked up by several Japanese language media outlets. While many commentators expressed surprise over @hane-hiyo’s, um, single-minded gustatory choices, many others thought the meal looked quite tempting.

He responded, “For people like me who eat three bowls of rice with a meal, I have made the perfect meal to surround yourself with the deliciousness of rice.”

That’s back-to-basics cooking at its purest. We’re just hoping the menu the following day was high in fiber.

Photos: Twitter/@hane-hiyo