「カレーライス / チキンカレー」 (Karē Raisu / Chikin Karee)
“Curry Rice / Chicken Curry”
As a huge fan of Japanese curry I was excited to learn that I’d be covering the show for the week that Nekoya, Tenshu, and Alphonse Flügel pay tribute to the dish. It was heartwarming to see Alphonse dive into the Curry Rice that kept him composed and comfortable all of these years as he was trapped on an island. Years on the island and months away at sea haven’t tempered his love for the curry as finding the Duchal door to Nekoya was enough to get back into eating plate after plate of curry. The second half of the episode ascended Alphonse higher into the upper echelons of his curry infatuation by being the first to test out Nekoya’s recipe for Chicken Curry. Although he had a hard time cleaning every plate he came across that day, his passion still held on strong.
He might not have convinced Altorius to put curry on his cutlet, but I would put curry on almost anything. I love Thai, Indian, and Jamaican curry, but discovering Japanese curry opened up its own door for me. It shares the spice and savory goodness that other curries have, but the flavor evolves depending on which ingredients you use. Vegetables like carrots, potatoes (or sweet potatoes), or mushrooms are good for keeping your meat of choice company, but the possibilities are endless to giving the sauce some umph to its composition. Putting in some onions to brown before boiling everything together gives them a nice, caramelized flavor that flows well with the curry. I add some hot pepper because I find the store-bought cubes to not pack as much heat in them, but if you find it to be too spicy like Alphonse’s initial reaction to the Chicken Curry, some mellow out the spice with yogurt. A level of sweetness also creates good definition with curry as I’ve discovered from mixing pureed apple and honey into the roux, but some find that a little touch of chocolate helps add a nice layer of sweetness that works well with the spicy, savory roux. There are even ways to add depth to the curry’s savory traits by incorporating items like steak sauce or red wine to add a mature flavor to the roux and help tenderize the meat you use. Japanese curry is a multifaceted dish that is easy to whip together, is versatile to fit any flavor profile, and tastes as wonderful as it looks on the show. I’m looking forward to seeing what Zaiden’s experiences with curry in Japan will be like.
Kuro: The Dragon of Demise
I’m surprised how we are introduced to Kuro (Oonishi Saori) this far into the season given that I just realized she appears on the poster alongside Aletta, but it’s a pleasant surprise. As we learn about how all of the universe’s dragons came together to fight against a great evil, it was sad to see Kuro find herself in the same position as the evil she just fought. As the harbinger of death, the beings she was once able to fly over had become too weak to handle her presence as the energy she emitted eradicated them from existence. Luckily for her, she didn’t get the entire Doctor Manhattan treatment after exiling herself to the moon, and found the door to Nekoya. It does make me question what kind of appetite the dragons must have given how high she stacked enough empty plates of chicken curry for Alphonse to be unable to cover all of the curry she ate.
Kuro is a very cute addition to the series if Tenshu is serious about hiring her to join Nekoya. I feel bad for Aletta since she showed some fear about the possibility of being replaced, but it’s shaping up to be more along the lines of giving her a co-worker to ease some of the pressure off her than a bid for her job. I’m pumped up to see what Kuro can provide to Nekoya given how endearing Tenshu and Aletta are. I’m also ecstatic about how many callbacks there were to other characters throughout the episode. Last week’s war against the best foods had this in common, but it was cool to see the connection that Alphonse had with Heinrich as Duchy citizens, and how the mythos behind the dragons were fleshed out. I hope we see Kuro and the Red Queen bond a lot more as well throughout the upcoming episodes.
Brie and Honey Sandwich
This week, I did meal prep for japchae, which turned out amazing. However, this means that my sandwich or potato experience had to come from an outside source. There are many sandwiches I was thinking about discussing in fuller detail; this one steak sandwich at a pot-themed sandwich shop with garlic aioli and potato sticks that always comes out mindblowing, some of the crazy burgers I’ve come across in my travels, the corned beef on rye that towers over all that surrounds it, or a homemade peanut butter and banana sandwich grilled on the stove. But then I remembered that in many instances, less is more. That’s a sentiment I find with some of the sandwiches from the French cafes that I’ve come across.
It does take a half hour or more to get to places with great food, but it’s worth it to go out of my way for it on occasion. This one, in particular, is a Brie and Honey sandwich with potato wedges and mixed greens. It doesn’t have the best reviews, mostly because the price and service, but this sandwich brings out the best in the cafe as the bread was hearty without being too tough or brittle, and the brie was high quality. Sometimes, all I would need from a sandwich are just the basic ingredients, and the combination of a nice cheese and a comforting bread are all I could ask for. I would still say the meal as a whole would be a 6/10 because the potatoes and greens on the side weren’t too remarkable, the sandwich could have used more honey, and it was a bit pricey. The baguette and brie were good themselves, but it would’ve added a great touch to it by balancing out the flavors with a little more sweetness from the honey pairing. My favorite accompaniments with brie are apricot preserves, fig jam, or grapes so to have those with a baguette would’ve been perfect. It would also align well with the fruit sandwiches of the last episode to have had some sweetness to it.