Atarime and Surume – Traditional Japanese dried squid snack foods
Do you know what the 2 Japanese food names, Atarime (あたりめ) and Surume (するめ), mean?
Atarime and Surume – They are the same thing
Actually, the 2 Japanese words have the same meaning.Atarime and Surume are dried squid, both of which are well-known as Otsumami (おつまみ), the snack food eaten along with alcoholic drinks, such as Japanese Sake rice wine and beer.
Most of the Japanese dried squid snacks are made from Japanese common flying squids called Surume-ika or Southern squids called Kensaki-ika (The word, ika (イカ), means squid in Japanese.).This is why we call the dried squid ‘Surume’, or ‘Surume-ika’.
We usually eat the dried squid snack, Atarime (Amazon.com), or Surume, dipping the food in mayonnaise or the mixture of mayo and soy sauce, after tearing the dried squid into strips with hands.If you want to know the basic way to cook the dried squid, this article will perhaps help you.
However, why Surume is also called Atarime?
The reason why Surume is also called Atarime
As I wrote above, the 2 Japanese foods, Atarime and Surume, are the same thing, that is, dried squid, but the food name, Surume, includes an unlucky word, ‘Suru (擦る)’, which means ‘lose’ in Japanese.
Therefore in the old days the Japanese replaced ‘Suru’ with the word, ‘Atari (当たり)’, which has the meaning ‘hit’ or ‘success’.
The reason why Japanese have to use the food name, Atarime, instead of Surume, is because we Japanese commonly prepare the dried squid as one of the betrothal gifts or offer the food to deities as a lucky charm.
Nevertheless, in daily life, you can use the word, Surume, without hesitation.Generally speaking, we Japanese rather use the word, Surume, more often in our daily lives.