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Sarah Crago

For Sarah Crago's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

Crab sticks: imitating the genuine article since 1974

Feb 17, 2017

Crab sticks: imitating the genuine article since 1974

The California roll is responsible for popularizing the consumption of sushi in North America. Originally developed by a Japanese chef in Canada, it contains cucumber, avocado and crab stick wrapped in an inside-out sushi roll, meaning the seaweed is on the inside. It has ...

Tokyo cafes turn to 'friendly, relaxed' Australia for ideas

Dec 2, 2016

Tokyo cafes turn to 'friendly, relaxed' Australia for ideas

What is it about Australian cafes that has Tokyo so excited? Is it the relaxed atmosphere, the service or the fresh flavors? Perhaps it’s the high-quality produce and the commitment to crafting exceptional cups of coffee? Or maybe it’s the attraction of Australia’s laidback ...

New and old ways to slurp up Japan's original fast food

Oct 28, 2016

New and old ways to slurp up Japan's original fast food

Long before Western chain restaurants entered Japan, the nation was nourishing its population with food served fast. Soba noodles — cheap, nutritious, served quickly and slurped just as speedily (while standing) — are one of Japan’s original fast foods and continue to rival burger ...

Young guns take aim at declining sake sales

Feb 26, 2016

Young guns take aim at declining sake sales

Sake in Japan is undergoing an image makeover. It’s desperately trying to become one of the cool kids again. Currently the second-lowest consumed alcoholic beverage in the country — whiskey and brandy being the lowest — sake only has a 6.8 percent market share ...

Born in the USA, eaten in Okinawa

Oct 23, 2015

Born in the USA, eaten in Okinawa

Known for its white sand beaches and tropical climate, Japan’s southernmost prefecture, Okinawa, also possesses a confused culinary identity. It’s a fusion of Western tastes and local ingredients that will have visitors questioning where they’ve landed. Okinawa was occupied by the U.S. for 27 ...

Abundant autumn sanma are a symbol of sustainable fishing

Sep 11, 2015

Abundant autumn sanma are a symbol of sustainable fishing

Autumn’s silvery little fish, the sanma, has arrived. To officially mark the beginning of the season, the annual Meguro Sanma Festival — which is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year — was held last weekend in Tokyo, where sanma were grilled and offered to ...

Natural wine is a natural fit in Tokyo

Aug 28, 2015

Natural wine is a natural fit in Tokyo

The natural wine movement is spreading. Everywhere I look in Tokyo, neighborhood wine bars and small bistros are introducing all-natural wine lists. I’m starting to wonder, why does natural wine fit so organically into the city? Japanese consumers were early adopters of natural wine, ...