Konnyaku Day

I am about to leave for a short trip to the Bourgogne (Burgundy) region of France, though via the magic of delayed postings you should see a couple of new articles while I am gone. In the meantime though, you may want to take a look at konnyaku day, hosted by Jason of Pursuing My Passions.

Konnyaku is basically an almost-zero calorie, all-fibre (of the gelatinous kind) food; it's pretty impossible to describe, so you just have to try it once yourself. My mother's side of the family is from Saitama prefecture in Japan, which is known for producing some pretty hearty, dark gray somewhat rough-textured konnyaku, as opposed to the delicate, whitish konnyaku produced elsewhere. Konnyaku is fairly neutral in flavor, though detractors claim that it has a peculiar smell. It tends to just take on the flavors of whatever it's cooked in or with.

As you might imagine, konnyaku has often been touted as a great diet food since it's so low in calories and high in fibre. However, it gained something of a stigma in Japan in the 1960s ever since a famous critic-at-large literally starved himself to death by eating konnyaku and little else in an effort to lose weight. If eaten in moderation though, I think it can be a great aid to weight loss - that is, if you can stand the peculiar texture, and different ways to cook it. Maybe Konnyaku Day will provide some answers to the latter question.

Wikipedia entry for konnyaku

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Have a nice vacation! I think I've had sweetened konnyaku before. I don't think that would work as diet food, hehe