Not too long after I finished my lunch in the classroom, my teacher for the afternoon class stepped in to set up the classroom for the lesson. I greeted her and then went about keeping my lunch box. She walked around the class to count the number of chairs and tables and stopped where I was seated.
"Have you had your lunch? Oh, I see you have a lunch box! Did you prepare your own lunch?"
"Yes, I did. I had fried Kamo nasu too!"
"Yes, I like nasu very much. I got it at Fresco."
"Wow! Kamo nasu is expensive!"
"It was 98 Yen only because there was a sale."
That's so cheap! Kamo nasu is usually pretty expensive, probably about 250 Yen."
"It is usually around 200 Yen at the supermarkets near my place."
"I think it is cheap because it is autumn."
"I think so too!"
As another teacher walked into the classroom to speak to my teacher, the conversation ended.
While I don't want my blog to become full of tributes to Kyoto vegetables, I really felt that the Kamo nasu deserves a spot in a blog about Kyoto. If you google it, you will find a list of tempting words associated with this famous eggplant of Kyoto. Tight meat, highly prized, rich taste, creamier, delicate texture, beautifully round. The Representative of Kyo Yasai.
The official Kyoto City page has a page dedicated to the Kamo nasu while soysauce maker, Kikkoman, has a section extolling the cancer-fighting properties of Kamo nasu in its page detailing the "Virtues of Kyoto Vegetables".
I didn't think much about my cooking method when I fried the nasu. I recall frying it with minced meat and soy sauce but read later (a bit too late) that it is most tasty when cooked with miso. How regrettable.
Here is a picture of the Kamo nasu I bought. The taste of the vegetable is going to be something I shall miss very much when I leave Kyoto.