About Osaka

Waste not want not

Osaka cuisine is said to embody the idea of "waste not want not. " This concept signifies the start and the finish; the coherence of things; or making sure that everything adds up—much like the calculation on an abacus. Many mistake it for stinginess but it is closer to an ethos of conservation.

For example, while sea bream is pricey, it can be cost-efficient purchase if the fish is consumed in its entirety, including the bones, innards, and head. Conversely, a cheap fish bought but left partially uneaten would violate the waste-not-want-not spirit of Osaka. This practice of consuming something in its entirety while producing no leftovers is said to represent food in Osaka, and because this requires a certain level of ingenuity, Osaka cuisine is known for its imagination.