I’ve been watching old Iron Chef episodes and I’m hoping someone here is familiar with Japanese culture and food preferences.
I’m going on the assumption here that the voiceovers/dubbings are at least vaguely accurate. They’re clearly written to make the word choice sound silly* but I suspect that the basic gist of their comment (“too salty” or “very subtle”) is more-or-less what they’re saying.
That said, one comment that comes up time and time again is that such and such ingredient has a “strong” smell or flavor and they judge the contestants positively if they cover up or mask the flavor. Note that they’re not talking about things like limburger cheese or durian. The most recent one I saw where they did this was a lamb battle–not mutton, they specifically said it was young (ergo, non-gamey) lamb. And the more the chef “disguised” or “covered” or “masked” or “hid” the strong flavor, the more the tasters liked it.
Is this accurate? I’d assume it was just “funny” translation, except the concept of covering up the taste of the food you’re eating keeps showing up in episode after episode.
If so, for heaven’s sake, why? Why would you want to hide the bold tastes of your expensive theme ingredient?
*I hope. If they’re not dumbing down the words and are doing really accurate word-choice translations, apparently several generations of Japanese people have been eating lead-paint chips.