Amparo Bertram (spacealien_vamp) wrote,
Amparo Bertram
spacealien_vamp

The kitchen sink

I was cleaning the sink anyway (since it's burnable trash day), so I thought I'd take a moment to talk about one of the more mundane cultural differences.


Japanese sinks, for the most part, don't come equipped with garbage disposals, nor is the drain able to handle organic matter. There is a cylindrical basket designed to fit in the drain to catch any food particles washed from dishes. In addition, most sinks will have another triangular basket in the corner for collecting large pieces of organic matter. It is customary to buy disposable filters to line these two baskets, making cleanup somewhat (though not very much) easier.

Now, keep in mind that burnable trash day only comes twice a week in my town. In winter, when the kitchen is largely frozen, this isn't much of a problem. But in the heat of summer, the smell of the food in the baskets can become overwhelming after only a day or so, particularly if you're like me and tend to cook with onions. A garbage can with a lid for burnable trash is a necessity...at least then you only have to suffer the smell for a brief moment when you pop the lid open to throw something away.


The second thing of note is that many Japanese kitchens do not have hot-and-cold taps. In order to obtain hot water, you have to use the gas water heater mounted on the wall next to the sink. Adjusting the temperature is a bit of a pain, so I generally leave it set at the same temperature for long periods of time.
Tags: culture
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