Tsukimi Fast Food: Japan's Harvest Moon makes Food Egg-cellent

The Harvest Moon is almost upon us here in Japan.  This year, it will arrive on 4 October, and while Japan has a traditional Tsukimi("moon-viewing") festival in mid-August, it holds special importance for the Tsukimi associated with the harvest moon.

That makes sense, since Japan has traditionally ascribed great importance to farmers.  In fact, the old social hierarchy in Japan was referred to as Shinōkōshō, with farmers (nō) coming just behind the warriors (shi).  [Kō was for artisans and shō for merchants, in case you were wondering]  After all, someone had to grow all the food that everyone ate, and there was appreciation both for the food and those who produced it.  Thus, many festivals and cultural practices are based on farming  traditions, and the one we have to look forward to right now is the Harvest Moon Tsukimi.

There is a particular food associated with Tsukimi, and that is fried or poached egg.  The reason being is that the egg looks like the full or Harvest moon.  Fast food restaurants throughout Japan have jumped on the Tsukimi bandwagon and have been adding fried or poached eggs to their sandwich options.  The two biggest name ones you will encounter if you are in Japan between now and mid-October are McDonalds and KFC.

Here are McDonald's options:
Photo Courtesy of McDonalds.jp

And here is the special from KFC:

Photo courtesy of KFC.jp

I happen to love eggs, so of course I wanted to try out the Tsukimi sandwiches.  I headed to KFC to grab their Tsukimi Chicken Fillet sandwich. 
I can't say my sandwich matched the aesthetic of the advertisement (but then again, how much fast food ever looks like the ad?).

IMG_2846.JPG 1.94 MB

But how did it taste?

IMG_2851.JPG 1.61 MB

The egg and the chicken were a fantastic combo, and I have no doubt the McDonald's versions would be great with the beef patties.  The mayonnaise was perhaps a bit too much, so I would just recommend asking "Mayonnaise-nuki" if you plan on trying it.

In any case, if you happen to love eggs like I do and you want to partake in a little bit of fun Tsukimi tradition fast-food style, I say zehi, grab yourself a Tsukimi sandwich and howl at some good eats!

Mike B