People are into “Nama food” in Japan!?

You might think that Japanese people like “raw-food”? No wonder! When the Japanese word “nama” is combined with food like “nama + food”, generally it implies “raw, fresh, uncooked/unbaked, and so on.

For example...

Nama-tamago: raw egg

Nama-gaki: raw oyster

Nama-niku: raw meat

Nama-zakana: raw fish

Nama-yasai: fresh vegetables

Nama-men: fresh noodles

Nama-kurīmu: fresh cream

Nama-mizu: unboiled/treated water

Nama-bīru: pasteurized/unpasteurized beer (draft beer)

Nama-gashi: unbaked sweets



However, what I would like to focus on here are different “nama-food/sweets” unique to Japan! They are luxurious, expensive and hard to get...but they are very popular these days!


For example...

Nama-shokupan: extra soft and fluffy shokupan-bread

Nama-kasutera: melted sponge cake (It’s a half-baked textured sponge cake, but not unbaked!)

Nama-purin: super smooth caramel custard with raw egg yolk on the top

Nama-kukkī: rich and moist cookies (not unbaked cookies!)

Nama-aisu: *super fresh and high quality ice cream (*They only produce “nama-aisu” that they can sell out on the same day.)

Nama-chīzu kēki: rich and melt in the mouth cheesecake

Nama-choko: creamy and melt in the mouth Japanese ganache


As you can see, such “nama-food/sweets” are hard to translate into English…the basic meanings of ”nama” doesn’t work...so it’s better to try them and find out what they taste like!

Sometimes words like “nama” can be combined with other words in a unique and creative way. They don’t really show their original meaning. That’s a fun fact, isn’t it?


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