Kinpira renkon is classic Japanese. Salty, umami, and sweet; tender and crunchy — it’s one of the most delicious ways to eat lotus root. You can put it out as an appetiser, or as a side dish to a meal, or as a snack — it’s as addictive as peanuts, and people will keep munching on it. If you aren’t familiar with lotus root, the distinctive pattern of holes might make it seem exotic. But, cooked, it has a warm nutty flavour that’s more comfortable than strange.