Just a word of warning to those who love Italian food:
when you order a pasta in Japan, it will be spaghetti 99% of the time.
If it comes with a tomato-based sauce, the main ingredient is ketchup 99% of the time
Japanese people think this is an acceptable way to make sauce 99% of the time.
But one man has dared to think differently. On a variety program last night, I saw a piece on a very fancy restaurant in Tokyo that serves Western food. The announcers were interviewing the head chef in the kitchen and learning all about how he makes the food so delicious. He was cooking a tomato sauce and had a nice pan of eggplants and green peppers going in olive oil. Then he slyly he produces a small glazed ramekin containing a tablespoon or so of a mysterious dark red substance. He turns to the camera and basically says "Now here is the secret: first I add a bit of tomato paste. THEN the ketchup. Because there is less ketchup in the sauce, it doesn't taste so sweet and vinegary."
Everyone in the studio audience ooo'd and ahh'd at his culinary innovation.
Damn. Damn damn.
And that is the story of why I only eat italian food when I cook it at home.