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Tokyo Dirt Menu: One Restaurant in Japan’s Capital Offers Meal Sprinkled with Dirt

Travelers Today       By    Amanda Woods

Updated: Feb 12, 2013 03:29 PM EST

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One menu at a restaurant in Tokyo, at first glance, seems typical -- a truffle soup, followed by oysters and a main course of flounder with risotto and vegetables. The meal comes with a side of potatoes, and the dessert is a scoop of ice cream, CNN reported.

But one addition that Toshio Tanabe added into his menu at Ne Quittez Pas restaurant comes as a surprise -- dirt. His reasoning for creating this menu was simple.

"This is a seafood restaurant, so we have the flavors from the ocean," Tanabe told CNN. "I was also looking for flavors from the earth."

This is not background dirt, though. It comes from a garden wholesaler who provides soil taken from 10 meters below the earth's surface, CNN reported.

To avoid germs, the soil is first lab tested, and then heated to extreme temperatures to kill off any bacteria. Only then does Tanabe sprinkle the dirt throughout his dishes, according to CNN.

But this fare comes at a high price tag, though, at about $110 per person, CNN reported.

One diner who wished to remain anonymous spoke to CNN about the dining experience from the dirt menu. "I didn't think it would be real dirt. I was a bit nervous. But it was a subtle taste," the diner said.

Tanabe in not sure what the special ingredient will be for his next menu.

As for the dirt menu, he told CNN: "This idea came about naturally."

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