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Food Is Love

Hi! I’m Mariko and welcome to my blog. I’m so glad you stopped by!

Momochan Conquers the World is a monthly blog dedicated to food. But truth be told, I come from a family who doesn’t really savor food. Let’s face it, they’re two steps away from slurping ramen, standing up at the train station in Tokyo. To them, food is fuel, nothing more. This is what makes me think I’m adopted. I’m the only one in my family who loves the sensuality of food, the journey a good meal takes to unfold.

But I wouldn’t say that I’m a foodie. Foodies seem to love EVERYTHING! I don’t. For example, I know that cilantro is the basis of several world cuisines, but take me to a Thai restaurant and I’ll pluck each leaf from my Tom Yum soup when they forget to take it out beforehand. I also have mixed feelings about avocado. I know it’s a super food and all, but I just can’t get past the texture. The only way I’ll eat it is if it’s with chips or some other food to mask its presence.


So why start a food blog you say? Because there is nothing better than wandering farmers markets and tasting, tasting, tasting, or baking lasagna late at night when the windows are closed, and the aroma gets trapped inside. I love trading dessert and gossip over the back fence with my neighbor or lingering over long dinners where the conversation is as delicious as the food. And to taste something new in a new place is just the best. But most of all, I love being in the kitchen with close friends and family where home-cooked meals bloom with stories and memories. And not just the dishes that we make all the time because our mothers, fathers, or grandparents made them. I’m talking about the food that reminds us of first love, the closeness of family, the loss of a friend, childhood, culture and history. I love it all. Food is so much more than just fuel and with this blog, I hope to show you just that.

This year, I began chronicling my life through food. In a journal, I recorded the recipes I cooked, pasted in pictures of the finished dishes, and wrote the story or memory behind it. Some were longtime favorites that I had made over and over again, while others were brand new. Not all of them worked out, but in the end, I really enjoyed seeing my life, the ups and downs, through these meals.


But as I was creating my cookbook, I wanted to do more. I remembered after a potluck lunch, one of my writing students said, “Look, we shared a meal. Now, we’re family.” I think that’s so true about food. It can bring people together. It’s an expression of love. It nourishes our souls as well as our stomachs.

Food is love. Thus, the idea for my blog was born.

Momochan Conquers the World is an extension of that love. But it’s more than just mouth-watering pictures of dishes at high-end restaurants. We want to give food meaning. So over the next year, we want to feature regular everyday people with their own special dishes and stories. We want to go on field trips to farms and restaurants as well as factories where food artisans perform their magic. There are also cooking classes, communities, and cultures to learn from and all sorts of other experiences to be had. We hope you will join us on our culinary journey.

Our next post will be at the ending of October. I’ll have a feature on one of my favorite designers in Hawaii, Jeremy Shoda of Shop Toast in Kaimuki. All I’ll say is he’s making tradition new again. Until then, enjoy this picture from Berry Cafe in Kyoto Station. I’ve never been inside, but a window of pies sure is tempting.

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