Japanese meals have an opening and closing to them. It is so elegant, gastronomically-speaking. These are appreciative phrases that you say to whomever cooked you a meal, whether at home or in a restaurant.
Before eating, you say, Itadakimasu” (いただきます), which means Let’s eat or Bon Appétit, and at the conclusion of your meal, you say Gochisosama (ごちそうさま), which means thanks for the delicious meal.
It is so automatic that it is said without thinking. Both phrases convey your appreciation for the cook/chef and or server for the delicious food you are about to enjoy.
When I started my culinary newsletter about Japan in 1988, I pondered what to call it for a long time. I finally decided on Gochisosama because it is so integral to eating in Japan. And you have probably figured out that the English translation is Thanks for the Meal! So it seemed like a no brainer to name my new Japanese food blog after it.
I continue this tradition of saying both Itadakimasu and Gochisosama to this day. Nowadays, my daughter joins in.