With the holiday season in full swing, one of the highlights is definitely family and friends gathering over copious amounts of food! We here at Black Nerd Squad are all about the food, so we thought it was only appropriate to highlight some of the best food Animes and their most delicious episodes. The spotlight for the first feature in this series goes to an absolute BNS favorite (Shokugeki No Soma) Food Wars!
Food Wars centers around Soma Yukihira wants nothing more in life than to beat his father in head to head cooking competition in their family diner and one day to take it over. Recognizing the potential in his son, Joichiro, decides to send Soma to the prestigious Totsuki Culinary Academy. The competition in this most elite academy is beyond fierce, and the battles heat things up even further in their exciting Iron Chef style battles know as Shokugeki! This article will reflect one of my favorite section of season 1, The Autumn Elections. I’m highlighting this section for few reasons, to list just a few, you truly begin the see the growth and development of the characters, their motivation for wanting to be the best in the academy and last but certainly not least, the food sequences are amazeballs!!!
So please sit down and dig into this deliciousness that is Shogugeki No Soma.
P.s. I hope it doesn’t make you too hungry!
Favorite Episode number 20: “The Dragon Lies Down and Ascends the Skies”
This episode, while not being food heavy is one of my favorites because it sets the stage for the first round of the Autumn Election, while also giving some background on our characters. It’s our first introduction of Akira Hayama. Hayama is known for his mastery usage of spices to not only gather the attention of the diner by smell first but to further complete the whole experience of captivating and enthralling the judges. In this episode, you also get a bit of background on the somewhat timid but lovable Megumi Tadokoro. In previous episodes we’ve seen her begin to slowly grow more confident with the help of Soma; she takes that confidence to the next level by butchering an entire hanging monkfish that completely impresses the judges.
Episode 22: “The One of Surpasses Ordinary”
This episode offers up 3 amazing dishes from Hojo Miyoko, Takumi Aldini, and Megumi Tadokoro. Starting with Hojo Miyoko’s Boluo Gali Chaofan which was commented as being like sweet and sour pork but with the addition of fried rice and curry spices. It is a gorgeous golden curry rice molded to look like a pineapple to emphasize the fact that not only does it have fresh sweet juicy pineapple in the dish, it was finished by being baked inside the pineapple. If anime smell-a-vision was a real thing, this is definitely the episode I would have wanted it for. The golden color of the rice peppered with colors of various vegetables, and chunks of pineapple are nothing short of drool-worthy.
Takumi Aldini’s curry pasta looked absolutely innocent and unassuming until you actually got to the break down the genius ingenuity of that dish. Starting with the pasta; traditional fettuccine seasoned with turmeric, but then stuffed(that’s right STUFFED) with a layer of parmesan cheese. Takumi further emphasizes Asian flavors by the use of tamari soy sauce, fennel, green cardamom, with the addition of peppers, bacon, and mushrooms. I can only imagine just how magical the combination of all those flavors is. This is for sure on Black Nerd Squad’s must make list.
Last and certainly not least is Megumi Tadokoro’s Monkfish hot pot. This is definitely a personal favorite of mine, not only because I love seafood and hot pots, but also it’s just a beautifully human moment for Megumi; she completely came into her own in this episode and I lived. But, back to the food. Let’s be honest, monkfish is hideous. It’s one of those things that when you see your mind automatically thinks “nope, I’m not eating that” but strip away the ugly exterior and you’ve got beautiful thick white meat fish, which many call the “poor man’s lobster”; from a food perspective it’s a great fish to use for a hot pot, but the fact that it’s so personal to Megumi’s backstory made it that must more incredible. Megumi effectively utilized all parts of the fish; using the liver sautéed and slowly dissolved with miso, sake, and spices, she created the curry paste for the base of the dish. She continued with the home theme by using seasonal vegetables of her small hometown further making this the perfect comfort food dish and completely surprising the judges with its delicious simplicity.
Rock on, Megumi!
Check back with us next time as we delve into more of the tastiest Food Wars episode!