Napolitan Stadium - The champions of Japanese favorite ketchupy spaghetti
Japanese people love "Yoshoku", which means Western-influenced Japanese cuisine. The first yoshoku dishes, including ton-katsu (fried pork cutlet), curry rice, omu-rice (omelette with ketchupy rice), ebi-fry (fried shrimp), cream croquette, etc., were born around the Meiji era timeframe (1868-1912). Japanese cooks working for Westerners around that time eventually spread all over Japan and started cooking the dishes they learned from those Westerners with the limited ingredients.
The number and variety of yoshoku dishes kept expanding, and perhaps one of the yoshoku dishes that Japanese love the most is "Napolitan". Napolitan is a spaghetti dish cooked with bacon/sausage/ham, green pepper, onion and the key ingredient - A LOT of ketchup. This pasta was created in imitation of the standard tomato-based "Napoletana pasta". Ketchup is basically the same as tomato sauce, right?
Usually foreigners living or visiting here in Japan say "No way!" to this ketchupy spaghetti dish, but we Japanese absolutely adore it.
From November 2 to November 4 in Yokohama, Napolitan's birth place, in Japan, "Napolitan Stadium" will be open and you can try the 16 best Napolitan spaghetti. Anybody has a chance to vote for his/her favorite one at the venue or through the website. The "No.1 Napolitan" will be announced on the last day.
Photos by Tabelog and Wikimedia