I can’t remember where I came across this claim, but I’ve been told that the Japanese eat pizza wearing gloves, which supposedly come with the pizza. Really, it’s not a bad idea; I hate being greasy. A quick googling turns up nothing, and it seems unlikely to me, but so did used underwear vending machines. So is this or was this ever a common practice? What’s the straight dope?
I know germans eat pizza with a knife and fork and I’ve seen Euro-tourists holding their big-macs with napkins while they eat. So I find it quite believable that the super-neat Japanese would have pizza gloves. There is some doubt, though. At my regular sushi bar the owner and chef have said on more than one occasion that the roll I was eating was supposed to be eaten by hand instead of with chop sticks. Thus the hand towel before the meal.
I live in JP now and to tell you the honest to goodness truth, I have never, ever seen a Japanese eat pizza with gloves (caveat: till now that is).
I grew up in Japan and I’ve never seen it done. Eating food with bare hands isn’t exactly a foreign concept in Japan.
However the story about mayonnaise-flavored seafood pizza are true.
I lived in Japan for a couple years while my father (who was in the Navy) was stationed over there. Never once saw a Japanese person eat pizza with gloves; the women there did eat it sideways though.
The last time I had KFC in Hong Kong (this was at least eight years ago), I was given plastic gloves at the counter. Kind of cool - I had a good collection going until I started getting weight-conscious. I think the box I kept all them gloves in is still hidden away in a corner of the apartment.
Oh, and I went to Japan several times last year. Had pizza once. No gloves.
I’ve been to Japan dozens of times and have never, ever seen anyone eat pizza with gloves. Taxi drivers where white gloves, but then you’ve never seen cleaner taxis anywhere in the world than what you’ll see in Japan…
As do the politicians. What’s up with that?
I was not given gloves the when I ate pizza in Japan earlier this year. I was like, WHERE THE HELL ARE MY GLOVES?!
Surreal? Izzat you?
Heh heh heh heh heh.
“Mayonnaise-flavored seafood pizza” has got to be a case of mistaken identity. Sounds like someone saw okonomiyaki, which has been described as “japanese pizza,” and taken the description literally.
Are you suggesting that I am perpetuating an urban legend, even though I told you I grew up in Japan myself?
Just walk into any pizza shop in Japan and order one of the seafood pizzas. It will have a mayonnaise-based sauce instead of tomato sauce. Or look at the menu at one of the pizza restaurant chains, like Pizza Hut Japan or Pizza-La. If you can read Japanese, you’ll see many items which include “mayonnaise” as a topping/sauce.
A friend of mine told me a story about Japanese “gift apples” that he’d read about in some magazine or another. The story suggested that “gift apples” were all the rage in Japan and everyone, everywhere gave each other apples as gifts.
So I asked my SIL - a native Japanese person - never seen it, never done it, may have heard about someone, once giving someone else an apple, but that was it.
Perhaps your source is similar - one person in Japan eats pizza with gloves and the author decided that meant that EVERYONE in Japan eats pizza with gloves.
Anyhow - SIL enjoys pizza glove free, thank you very much.
Oh, the penny just dropped.
Reminds me of that Seinfeld episode in which Elaine was astonished by all the poeple suddenly eating Snickers bars with knives and forks.
I’ve only seen gloves on police officers, cab drivers, and medical personnel when I’ve been in Japan.
When I go there next week, I will ask for gloves. Except that I don’t speak much Japanese and don’t really know how to ask for gloves.
I’ve never been able to work up the courage to try the Boston Pirates pizza with Chowder Sauce from Chicago Pizza Factory.
I should add that the other Japanese workers who wear gloves most of the time are the baseball players.
Don’t forget the folks who shove you onto the subway. Their gloves are co-ordinated with the season.