This is my friend, Bangly’s posting.
[May, 2013] Talking with a Japanese friend of mine, Koji, who is a wine and food expert, I learned that there is an Italian dish called Napolitan in Japan, which I did not know that existed.
It is over cooked spaghetti dish with sweet pepper and bacon, or sausage and bacon, and you can add other ingredients like cheese.
According to Koji, this dish was very popular in Japan when he was a teenager (around mid-sixty’s) and it was considered “Italian cooking”.
But is it possible that something that doesn’t exist in Italy was considered an italian food in Japan?
So, we started to guess how this could happen.
Probably this story started in the XVIII century when the first Italians migrated to America, taking our tradition with them.
But in that period there were not the right ingredients in America, so they used the foods which are available there.
For example, tomato souce became Ketchup and the mince meat became bacon.
After a while, this food got recognised as a proper Italian food in America, and after the World War II this dish arrived in Japan with the military that occupied the country from 1945 to 1952.
After a decade it became famous as a Italian cooking in Japan, too.
It seems that today young people don’t like it so much, but the people over forty still like it, even though now they know what the real Italian cookings are.
Maybe it reminds them of their childhood.
I went to try it on the same day, but honestly I didn’t like it so much.
It was a unique experience though.
I felt I ate a piece of history.