The #KatsuCurryPolice are on a mission to educate Brits on their craze for Katsu Curry.

If you’ve ever had a Japanese curry, you’ll know how it differs from the hot, spicy curries found in other nations. Here in Japan, a dish of “curry rice”, as it’s called, comes with a roux that’s light brown and much milder in flavour than many other curries, and what it lacks in spice it makes up for in sweetness, with some of the most popular varieties containing apple and honey.

Easy to make from cubes sold in boxed packets like the ones above, curry rice is a staple dish in many Japanese homes, and its mild flavour means it can be easily enjoyed by people of all ages. In fact, it’s such an easy-to-eat dish that its appeal has spread internationally, becoming a star menu item at a number of Japanese-inspired restaurants, including British restaurant chain Wagamama, which has outlets across Europe and in the United Arab Emirates and the United States.

▼ One of the most popular dishes at Wagamama is their Katsu Curry.

In Japan, katsu curry has two important elements, aside from rice: the katsu and the curry. The curry is the Japanese-style roux mentioned above, while the katsu, which means “fried cutlet”, is a piece of breaded fried meat, usually made with pork.

In recent years, however, people in Britain have started to call the Japanese curry roux “katsu curry”, even if it doesn’t contain the vital “katsu” meat cutlet.

It’s an issue that has Japanese curry lovers fired up, giving rise to the hashtag #KatsuCurryPolice on Twitter. A quick look at some of the tweets show the problem with the British understanding of Japanese curry.

▼ A simple image illustrates the issue:

And it’s not just something misinformed diners are mistakenly doing — big-name companies are selling spices for Japanese curry roux as “katsu curry” in British supermarkets.

▼ This Twitter user points out that it should be called “Japanese curry powder ideal for katsu curry.”

Then there are other products that use “katsu” as a buzzword to sell things that aren’t actually katsu.

▼ Chicken katsu curry soup is something you’d never find in Japan.

With katsu curry being such a popular dish in Britain, it looks like “Japanese curry” just doesn’t have the marketing power to sell products.

▼ The katsu curry police have arrived a little too late to put things right when big names like Sharwood’s are in on the trend.

Still, while curry purists are correct in pointing out the U.K’s common misconception that katsu curry is the name of the Japanese curry roux itself, others are happy that people in Britain even know it exists at all.

Though it’s unfortunate that the real dish has been lost in translation, putting a twist on a traditional dish from abroad and adapting it for the local market is something that’s been done for centuries. So whether you call it innovation or bastardisation, it’s a side effect of globalisation that the katsu curry police appear to be powerless against.

Which side of the curry debate do you sit on? Let us know in the comments section below!

Source: Naver Matome
Featured image: Pakutaso
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