Kuitan = Food Porn, Mystery, and Comedy

Some friends want help get over your addictions. Like my one friend, who objected when I filled her TV with Food Network shows for the second day in a row one evening. But it was so important – Michael Symon was making his way to becoming Iron Chef. She told me that there was more to TV than cooking shows. So, I let her change the channel. Let me clarify…the channel changed only AFTER he won!

On the other hand, some friends are enabling. One of my friends who follows Japanese dramas introduced me to KUITAN, a Japanese show about a detective who solves crimes with his superhero knowledge of cuisine. Clearly, he must have more compassion than my other friend. That’s true friendship.

Can’t remember which episode it’s in, but Kuitan leverages his knowledge that hijiki (a Japanese seaweed) requires several hours to marinate to assess the timeline of a crime. Ultimately he finds that an innocent man is in fact taking the fall for the real bad guy, because the fall guy was lying about when he was going to each lunch. Now that’s power.

Meals, meals, and more meals abound in this series. Oftentimes, Kuitan must sample multiple dishes to ascertain the identity of an important witness or so. This means you as the viewer will certainly see several close-up shots! I’m talking about professionally captured food porn.

Kuitan also waxes wistfully on culinary traditions in little, tender asides. These I especially adore, because he is teaching the “why” of these dishes – why this or that ingredient is important, taste-wise as well as giving cultural context. Oh, and the show is highly comedic, in a very lighthearted way. This show has it all: comedy, mystery, and culinary erudition. Who could ask for more?

I’ve embedded here a link to the first few minutes of the premiere episode. Thanks YouTube!

P.S. Here’s a 12-minute discussion of the artifice involved in food porn (also available as a transcript) in a show called “Pornucopia.” I think this is a bit over the top. Is Mr. Kaufman’s outrage at Food Network’s attempt to “get the emo” really justified???

Update: July 13, 2008 – one of my friends told me about crunchyroll which has kuitan episodes available online. sweet!

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3 responses to “Kuitan = Food Porn, Mystery, and Comedy

  1. I KNEW Michael Symon would win! Loved that show, I hope they do it again. But I’ll watch anything on the Food Network, even those dumb “make a skyscraper out of rice crispy treats” challenges.”

  2. Me too. (Symon won me over pretty quickly!) I thought Besh was not creative enough to win, but I was very worried that he might!

  3. bipolarlawyercook

    Oh, that television show looks awesome. “That was just a snack.”

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