Like many countries around the world, there are some local dishes that brings out their own unique flavor and can only be appreciated in their mother country. When I say appreciated, it means that the people who create them never stop to “go that extra mile” and make things more delicious.

One good example is the plain old Japanese onigiri (rice ball). The charm of onigiri is that you can carry it anywhere and it's not that complicated to make. It was a meal that even samura's in the olden days enjoy eating. Even today, onigiri in Japan is their most basic meal and it has evolved into something that even the samurai's of the past would had killed to taste (ok maybe not, but you get my drift).

In the past all it takes to make onigiri is rice, a bit of salt, sea weed and some plums. Today, there are many variations of onigiri like salmon tuna and mayonnaise, tuna and mayonnaise, chicken (fried chicken with mayonnaise), tarako, umeboshi, konbu, nikumaki, tempura, omelet, unagi, grilled onigiri and many more. As you may have noticed, the Japanese love their mayonnaise.

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It also have 4 unique shapes namely triangle, round, sand bag and disk. The most commonly seen (especially on convenience stores) are the triangular type. Is there any reason for the shape? Well, I'm not pretty sure but according to what I've read, the triangle shaped onigiri that they carry during the old days are meant as a protection and a way to appease the spirits on the mountain.

A more reasonable explanation is that they are “space efficient”. It means that the shape doesn't eat too much space compared to the round type onigiri that is bulky. Ironically, most people eat onigiri during lunch time especially those that are always in a hurry. Some prefer them as snacks and others just munch of them out of curiosity. This is applicable for those foreigners that are very curious about onigiri.

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So where can you get onigiri in Japan? That's easy. Just visit your friendly neighborhood convenience store and take your pick among the many flavors that you'll find there. If it's your first time eating onigiri, splurge a bit and buy two or three of them so you can compare the tastes. If you want, you can eat a different type of onigiri everyday until you find your favorite among them.

If you have time why don't you make your own onigiri and experiment on the different fillings to accompany it. You can always use your friends and family members as test subj… I mean guinea pi… I mean, it's fun making food for your love ones don't you think so? Not only will they appreciate your work, it will also make them happy knowing that you made it especially for them.

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Just pray that it taste good, otherwise… I'll leave the rest to your imagination

Well then, Join me again next time as we embark on a journey to find the most interesting things that is uniquely Japan!