Setsubun

ramen green tea pork belly mitsuwa 3rdarm chicago

Etta and I headed up to Mitsuwa Marketplace on a Monday to avoid the crowds. It was a super cold January weekend and we were super low on groceries.

Mitsuwa is an impressive place: Japanese grocery store, bakery, food court and book store all in one. We walked around the food court and I expressed skepticism based on it being a food court that the food would be good.

The umami of the ramen erased my skepticism: the broth had this addictive nutty richness. The noodles, mushrooms and pork belly were perfect in flavorful broth. I had a toasted green tea. We went grocery shopping.

strawberry chocolate crepe cone mitsuwa 3rdarm chicago

I was surprised at how many brands of black coffee are sold in Japan: single servings, energy drink style. While Etta made executive grocery shopping decisions, I read about setsubun:

It’s the day before the start of spring. During setsubun, the male head of the household puts on an ogre mask, and throws beans out the door, yelling, “Demons out! Luck in!” and then slams it shut. To bring the luck in, it is then customary to eat one bean for each year of one’s life.

We ate a crepe cone stuffed with vanilla ice cream, strawberries, whipped cream and chocolate sauce.

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