The zombie apocalypse is upon us. There is no point denying it. Just because we are all about to rise from the dead, however, is no excuse not to enjoy epicurean delights.
Brains have long been the Holy Grail of the zombie repertoire. Indeed, eating brains seems to be their raison d’être. Although rarely featured on the menu of a local pub or restaurant, they have long been considered a delicacy. In Moby Dick, for example, Hermann Melville lovingly describes the preparation of those two white globes comprising the brain of a smaller sperm whale.
A shout stopped me halfway along the street. Behind me, on his bike, was the concierge from the ryokan; he had pedalled after me, worried I would get lost.
With family in tow, I was following his suggestions for breakfast. Considering the language barrier, he’d given remarkably precise directions, complete with a hand-drawn map – yet still he worried we might lose our way, and kept weaving his way behind us until we reached the restaurant safely. Then, with a smile and wave, he rode away, if not quite into the sunset, at least to be swallowed by the crowds.
Along with the map, the concierge had also written some suggestions – in Japanese – which I handed to the waitress. With a bow she led the four of us over to the ubiquitous vending machine and pressed a selection of buttons. Out came not a meal, but brass-coloured tokens. The waitress ushered us to our chairs with another bow, then disappeared into the kitchen with the tokens. Soon the meals appeared, steaming bowls with variations of noodles and vegetables – and mine with a raw egg cracked on top. I always seemed to get the meal with the raw egg – but then, there is little I won’t eat, at least once.