Cucumbers are great fruits that can be enjoyed in a variety of ways, but by sheer chance our writers have found a way to heighten the flavor and texture of a cucumber to unprecedented levels.
The cucumber is a magnificent vegetable. Apart from simply being eaten as part of a healthy diet, they can also be cute, made into art, brought to life, and even given as treats to helpful Shiba Inu. With so many uses, is there anyone out there who could possible hate cucumbers?
Apparently, yes. There’s one town in Japan where it is strictly forbidden to grow or eat cucumbers. Why do they hate the vegetable? And is their rule actually valid or are they all in a pickle over nothing?
Here they come again. Worming their way into the black matter of my brain. I told myself…they cannot touch me. They’re long dead…
That’s right folks! It’s Obon time again. This is when the spirits of our deceased ancestors are said to visit the realm of the living. And so Japanese people have several traditions to make that visit a comfortable one for their loved ones.
One such custom is the shoryo uma which traditionally are little horses made from cucumber or eggplant and designed to symbolically transport the dead across these planes of existence.
In recent years these horses have evolved into a variety of things from tanks to Gundam vehicles., but now it seems shoryo uma makers have been inspired by the hit movie Mad Max: Fury Road and created vehicles in its image to transport loved ones across that great apocalyptic divide.
For many parts of Japan, this week is the Obon season. This is the time when several generations of family members all come together in one house for a visit. Luckily for the hosts, the vast majority of these relatives are ghosts so don’t take up a lot of space.
But even though they’re ghosts it’d be rude not to lay out some food for them, and so it’s not uncommon to place some snacks or beverages on graves or family altars in the home. Among these you might find shoryo uma, little animals made of cucumber and eggplant meant symbolize animals which carry the spirits to and from the otherworld.
Traditionally these tiny animals are made by jabbing four sticks into the vegetable for legs. The result is quaint but kind of looks like something I’d slap together for my third grade art project so I could get back to playing Dragon Warrior – hardly something fit for the people who paved the way for your existence to ride in on! As such some people in Japan have begun pimping their shoryo uma to make sure their ancestors’ rides are safe, comfy, and in some cases kind of epic.
We apologize in advance if you have a strange fear of cucumbers or an all too common fear of snakes, but this was just too cool to pass up. The following video shows how a humble green cucumber can be transformed into what can only be described as a pickle python.
Hot dogs and summer go hand in hand. They’re perfect for barbeques, ballgames, and camping. But when the heat just doesn’t let up for months on end, many in Japan can’t tolerate a piping hot frank any more.
A small bakery in Kobe, Boulangerie Marui, has found the solution by combining the cooling effects of cucumbers with all the fun or eating a hot dog. You can probably see where this is going.
In these dog days of summer it’s a pretty good idea to carry around a bottle of water or sports drink to stay safe from heat stroke. However, in China, home of the melt-proof ice pop, people are into a much more low tech way to keep cool.
One of our reporters was standing at a traffic signal in Shanghai when he spotted an attractive businesswoman rummaging through her purse. Finding what she was looking for, she pulled out a huge cucumber and started munching on it as nonchalantly as one would drink a cup of coffee from Starbuck’s. Mildly aroused, he decided to investigate this spontaneous act more deeply.