Obon and matsuri season is a time to share our cultural traditions and pride within the community, but let's be honest: a good chunk of that pride has to do with the obon foods.
One of my biggest reasons for going obon hopping is to check out the highlight food booth or the creative new food booths at each festival. For this ultimate food bracket, I turned to the only other person I know who loves food more than me: Kevin Onishi.
In addition to his involvement in the broader Southern California Japanese American community, Kevin is still involved in his hometown community of San Jose. He volunteers at San Jose Obon in the beef skewers booth annually. We've obon hopped all throughout college, and would have continued to do so this summer, too.
Imagawayaki Photo Credit: Gardena Valley Japanese Cultural Institute
In lieu of physically trying and sampling all the wonderful foods, we thought we'd bring you this bracket to keep the tastes at the tip of your tongue and memories. This bracket is just for fun, but we do hope it sparks serious debate and discussion with your friends and family.
My cousin Blake is a total mood when it comes to good food. Here he is eating spam musubi. Photo credit: Gardena Valley Japanese Cultural Institute
Kevin has narrowed down his top contenders for our ultimate food bracket. We're also sharing Kevin's final bracket. As usual, his food opinions are controversial, but food critics know what they like! Feel free to download the document, and share with your friends!
Here's the ultimate food bracket. It's very difficult to see here, but you can download it below.
Oh yeah, and here's Kevin's picks.
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