Of coffee, beer, tea, wine and cola, by William LeGoullon.

Mr Ajikko was her favorite Japanese cartoon as a kid, Yuki Matsuo told me, in our first email exchange. This was two years ago and since then we stay connected thanks to a shared passion for food. Yuki looks high and low for what would be her next great meal and documents her finds at her blog 365 dishes. She is behind All-You-Can-Eat-Press, the maker of the New York Doughnut, Burger and Ramen Maps, sold in all kinds of nice stores, Steven Alan, Project 8, Powerhouse Books in NYC and General Store in SF among them And how delighted I was to find out that she was actually Yuki of Yuki's Famous Soft Pretzel, spotted at Kiosk back in the day! These days Yuki eats, drinks, writes, travels and works on future map ideas. She is a part-time barista in Brooklyn's coolest little coffee and sweets shop burrow. Yuki introduced me to $1.25 Trinidad Doubles in Bed-Stuy, secret supper clubs and Spam slicers. And she just made her own batch of Miso.

I asked her to share (1) a story, (2) an idea, (3) a tip and finally (4) a favorite here.

Below is Yuki holding Yuki's Famous Soft Pretzel and her thoughts.

I am not a foodie nor a gourmet, but am a sincere eater. I enjoy anything from White Castle to Minetta Tavern, Nissin Cup Noodle to Bassanova Ramen. But I try to decide what to eat by following my heart and stomach through every single meal. So I eat at White Castle when I really have a craving for it, not because it is the only option on a road trip. I eat Nissin Cup Noodle with excitement for a taste of my childhood.

Shotaro Ikenami(1923-1990) was one of the most popular historical period novelist / essayists in Japan. Also he was well known for being a gourmand, a hearty drinker and a heavy smoker. The food was the main subject on his essays and I truly enjoy his detailed descriptions of food and mouth-watering phrases. I remember a very memorable story. He said “I wonder how many meals I would be able to eat in my rest of life? It’s only 3 meals a day, 90 meals a month, 1095 a year. If I could live another 20 years, I can only have 21900 meals! Which means I can’t waste any of it, not with so much good food”. I think he was late 50s when he wrote this and he passed away at the age of 67. So he couldn’t complete 21900 meals… Some people will think 21900 meals are plenty, some people won’t, I won't. Once you know that there is a limit, each meal becomes more special. Also, we should realize that we never know what will be our last supper.

“Ichi-go Ichi-e”, which is a well-known acquaintanceship from Japanese tea ceremonies translates to “Enjoy every encounter and serve a cup of tea because it may not come to you again”. But I myself interpret it as “ Enjoy every meal because it may be your last supper”. So I do care to make sure that every single meal is what I am really in the mood for, it doesn’t matter if it's junk or fancy food but I choose it with intention and passion. This is my “ Food Dou”.

Do you remember what you ate three days ago? Yes? no?? Why not to keep a record of your meal? It can be just a scribble. It’s impossible to remember every details of day-to-day life. But a little tag of the meal can be a key to memorize the time & people you spent it with.

Living in NYC is like having a free-pass to unlimited options of all kinds of ethnic food & culture. I love to discover the city with an adventurous mind & tongue. I can start my day with French croissant & chocolat chaud for breakfast, Xi’an hand pull noodles for lunch, Moroccan tagine for dinner and ice cream hand-crafted in Brooklyn for dessert. Isn’t it amazing!?

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