Japanese food and language were all I knew until age 5 (although I’m an American of European descent.) Tokyo was my hometown until age 18. Japan is famous for its Kobe beef. However, my first bite of beef was at my grandmother’s house in Colorado. I was sent there one summer to learn English. Good thing my Nona was patient…And had a large stash of nori. (Dried Japanese seaweed) I refused to eat meat if not wrapped in nori. Besides being the best grandmother ever, Nona was an excellent cook. So the beef (wrapped in nori) was swallowed without complaint.
On subsequent summer visits to Nona’s house, I was not quite as demanding. Also, I did learn English. Thanks to my grandmother and my cousins. Some of them managed corn and green bean farms. On drives to the farms - or even to the market - I saw grazing cattle. It was quite a contrast to my “regular” life in cosmopolitan Tokyo. But a welcome change. Colorado summers were opportunities to learn about family, horseback riding, S’Mores and how to enjoy American beef!