“A Taste of Japan” Comes to Worcester Dining Commons at UMass Amherst on Feb. 15

AMHERST, Mass. – “A Taste of Japan,” a themed dining experience, will provide authentic and traditional Japanese cuisine and also explore the Japanese culture in the Oak Room of the Worcester Dining Commons on Wednesday, Feb. 15 from 5 to 8 p.m.

“One of the main goals this semester is to continue to provide our students with more healthy and tasty options,” says Ken Toong, director of university dining services. “I think Japanese cuisine is well-suited for an interesting, healthy special.”

The idea was brought to Toong’s attention by hospitality, tourism and management major Kaoru Kikawada, and after discussing the idea with several students, Toong realized there was a strong interest in Japanese food on campus.

According to Toong, part of the reason there is so much interest in Japanese food is because the Japanese diet is considered one of the healthiest among industrialized nations. The Japanese diet is low in fat and consists of many vegetables, twice as much fish as meat, soy products, green tea and fruit.

In December, Toong met with Kikawada to begin planning the event. Kikawada has supplied authentic Japanese ingredients and decorations that she gathered at her home in Japan during winter break.

For this themed special dinner they will serve miso soup, tempura vegetables and shrimp, Yakitori chicken, miso cod, nikujaga, shirapae, greenie from Kaoru’s family recipe, fruit kanten and a sushi bar.

In addition, there will be a green tea demonstration, a video on Japan, traditional Japanese music and an origami demonstration.