Friday, May 10, 2013

neba neba (ねばねば / ネバネバ)

Just a follow-up to the natto entry a few days ago.  Natto is one of the neba neba foods in Japanese cuisine.  I have friends here who specifically seek out neba neba-ness.  I myself like it too.
I know  a few people who believe that neba neba food is generally healthy.  I can't think of any counterexamples to that, but I don't know if there's any scientific study to affirm it.

A lot of my students who look up ねばねば in their dictionaries come up with sticky, and it is that--but not like a piece of hard candy (say, a Jolly Rancher) that just flew out of your mouth while you were talking.  ねばねば is like gooey sticky, strings of thick fluid that follow the mouthful of food that you bring to your mouth with a fork or pair of chopsticks.  Okra would be a prime example.  In Japan, popular examples are yamaimo / tororo. . .

There's a great entry on neba neba foods on this blog:
http://umailabs.com/word-of-the-week-stickinessneba-neba%E3%81%AD%E3%81%B0%E3%81%AD%E3%81%B0%E3%83%8D%E3%83%90%E3%83%8D%E3%83%90/#more-1595

It has great pictures.

As with many other Japanese onomatopoetic expressions, neba neba is a word repeated and can be used as a suru verb (i.e. neba neba suru). . .

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