FOOD CULTURE ANECDOTES Part 1 (7)-22018/10/12（Fri）
♪ Hyogo prefecture faces the Japan Sea in northern part and the Seto Inland Sea in southern part. The middle part is a mountainous region. Because it is such geographical condition, both of marine and mountainous products can be harvested abundantly. As marine products “snow crab (“Matsubagani” in Japanese)”, “red snapper (“Tai” in Japanese”) (Akashi Tai), “octopus (“Tako” in Japanese)” (Akashi Dako), “sea weed (“Nori” in Japanese)” (Akashi Nori) etc. are taken, and “sweet fish (“Ayu” in Japanese) “, “char (“Iwana” in Japanese), etc can be harvested from rivers.
As agricultural products, “Matsutake mushroom (“Matsutake” in Japanese)”, “black soybean (“Kuro Daizu” in Japanese)”, “buckwheat” “Soba” in Japanese) etc can be taken. And the brand beefs, “Tajima beef (“Tajima gyu” in Japanese)”, “Kobe beef (“Kobe gyu),etc, became special products.
♪ About “Kobe” and “Kobe’s Sweet”
♪ ”Kobe” is the prefectural capital city of Hyogo prefecture. Since Kobe opened in 1867, many foreigners came to Kobe and stayed there. Therefore, foreign food culture spreaded quickly in Kobe and to throughout Japan. Today there are people of 100 countries living in Kobe. Kobe is historically the earliest place where beef, cheese, wine, coffee, bread, cake, chocolate, etc were eaten. You can also enjoy Chinese, French, German, Korean and Mexican cuisines cooked by natives in Kobe.
☆”Kobe's sweets” are famous. Since the opening of Kobe in the end of 19th century, foreign cultures have entered and established here. Accordingly, the number of foreign residents has increased. In such environment, western - style confectionary culture developed. "Kobe Fufetsudo" opened in 1897. Castella, cream puff, malon glace and waffle here are well known. In 1923, "Fujii Pan (bread)" opened a cafe shop in Kobe. "Fujii Pan" is the current "Donk”. In 1924, Karl and Elise Juchheim who were affected by the Great Kanto Earthquake hit the difficulties and came to Kobe. They opened their cafe shop in Kobe. This is the beginning of the famous "Juchheim”. In the late Taisho period, chocolate makers such as "Goncharoff" and "Morozoff confectionary shop" came out. In 1936 “Morozoff” posted an advertisement titled "Chocolate for Valentine's Day" in the English newspaper. Introduced are just few examples.of Kobe’s sweet company. Every company written here is a leader in the current Japanese sweet companies.
♪ When referring to Hyogo prefecture, there are areas that faces the Seto Inland Sea such as Kobe and Akashi, "Tajima Region" that faces the Japan Sea in northern part, and "Tamba Region" that does not face the sea in middle east part of the prefecture.
The northern part of the “Tajima Region” faces the Japan sea. In “Tajima” Region”, the Inland part is mountainous, so, this area yields many vegetables, fruits, mushrooms and other agricultural products.
♪ There are many marine products that can be taken in “Tajima Region” such as “blackthroat sea perch (“Nodogro” in Japanese)”, “flounder (“Hirame” in Japanese)”, “snow crab (“Zuaigani” in Japanese)”, “red snow crab (“Benizuaigani” in Japanese)”, “firefly (“Hotaruika” in Japanese)”,etc. “Nodogro” is one of the finest fish among them.
♪ About “Nodoguro (blackthroat sea perch)”
♪ ”Nodoguro” which is a special product of the “Tajima region” is a fish belonging to the Suzuki (Japanes seaperch) family. It is a super high class fish. In “Nodoguro”, body is colored to be pale red to light pale red, the mouth is big, and the throat is black. So, it is called as "Nodo (throat) gro (black color)". “Nodoguro” has the most tasty season in autumn. Best taste may be expressed as Sashimi, grilled, steamed or boiled cooking.
☆”Simmered “Nodoguro” (“Nodoguro no nitsuke” in Japanese): Mix with the broth (“Dashi” in Japanese) which is composed of “Konbu” and “Shiitake mushrooms”, “Japanese sake”, soy sauce, ”Mirin”, a little cut ginger and a little finely chopped green onion in saucepan. On the other hand, "Nodogro" which has been cut off internal organs is prepared. After the saucepan mentioned above in which included the mixture of “Dashi” etc. was boiled. And then, added the treated “Nodoguro”. After simmered, and after covered the saucepan further simmered for 10 min. to finish cooking.
♪ About “Tajima Gyu (“Tajima beef”)”
♪ “Tajima Region” is also encompassed by livestock products. Among them, "Tajima beef" is famous.
☆“Tajima cattle (“Tajima Ushi”)” was a work cattle that was raised in the “Tajima
Region” from ancient times. It is said that this cattle came from Korea in the Nara period. This cattle is a “Black haired cattle (“Kuroge Wagyu” in Japanese) and the original cattle of most Japanese brand cattles such as “Matsusaka cattle”, “Kobe cattle”, “ Maesawa cattle”, “Hida cattle”, “Saga cattle”, etc. and all of those cattles produce brand beefs. “Tajima cattle” was the species that Shusuke Maeda created in the 1800s.
♪ About “Tanba Region”
♪ ‟Tanba Region”is located in the eastern part of Hyogo prefecture and do not face sea, that is, mountainous region. Accordingly, this region yields many agricultural products in which soybeans and chestnuts are representative products.
☆"Tanba chestnuts (“Tanbaguri”in Japanese) can be yielded in autumn mainly in Sasayama city. It is the finest chestnuts that were presented to the Emperor’s family from the early Heian period, and to the Shogun from the Edo period. The species of this chestnut is “Ginyose” whose meaning is that “money comes”. It is used for both of Japanese and western- style confectionaries.
☆"Tanba black soybean ("Tanba Kuromame” or “Tanbaguro” in Japanese)” is a kind of black soybean. In Japan, black soybean (“Kuromame” in Japanese) has been cultivated at least since the Heian period. It is thought that “Tanbaguro” has been cultivated in the ”Tamba Region”. “Tanbaguro” is said that it was presented to Emperor’s court and was eaten in the new year. Hereafter, it was spreaded over whole Japan as a factor of Japanese food culture.
♪ As introduced, both of “Tajima Region” and “Tanba Region” are filled with ingredients abundantly from fields, mountains, rivers and sea, Further, there are plenty of traditional local cuisines, new local cuisines, sweets etc using own products. And there are hot springs and historical things. So there are very attractive places. Please visit by all means.
♪ Nara prefecture is the special prefecture that can be said to be the roots of Japan because 2010 AC corresponded to the celebration year of 1300 years since “the established of capital city at Heijo (Nara city now)” The Yamato royal family governed from the 3rd century BC until the 8th century AC. This Yamato family is thought to be the origin of the Emperor’s family. The emperor’s family has been believed Shintoism and Buddhism. So that, there are many shrines and temples in Nara prefecture. Accordingly, there are many national treasures and important cultural assets and those become sightseeing spots. Nara prefecture does not face sea. The mountain area is steep and there is few agricultural land. However, there are “Yoshino's cherry blossoms area” and “Kumano Old Road (“Kumano Kodo” in Japanese)” in the mountainous region which are sightseeing spots other than shrines and temples. There are many famous products in Nara prefecture. Among the specialties, "Nara pickles ("Narazuke” in Japanese) is the representative, as its name suggests.
☆When comparing Nara and Kyoto, Nara is said to be a beauty that makes use of natural sceneries, and on the other hand, Kyoto is often said to be artificial beauties. Even in local cuisine, Nara's local cuisines can be considered to be rustic cuisines, as compared with Kyoto’s ones.
♪ About “Nara pickles (“Narazuke” in Japanese)”
♪ The origin of "Nara pickles" was "Kasu pickles (Kasuzuke” in Japanese)" 1300 years ago. "Kusu " in the Nara period seems to be a deposit accumulated at the bottom of the bottle of sake. "Narazuke" was made in general homes and temples, but since the Meiji period it came out as a commercial product.
☆As a vegetable material for “Narazuke”, pickling melon (“Uri” in Japanese) has been used mostly. “Narazuke” was a preserved food of the upper class people and it was a luxury item. In the Keicho period during the Edo period, Sosen Itoya, a doctor using traditional Chinese medicine who lived in Nara gave the name of “Narazuke” to “Nara pickles”.
☆The delicious taste of “Narazuke” was discovered by travelers who visited the Great Buddha of the “Todaiji Temple”, and they spread the deliciousness of “Narazuke” over the country .
♪ About “Miwa’s Japanese thin noodles (“Miwa Somen” in Japanese)” and “Sushi wrapped with persimmon leaf (“Kakinohazushi” in Japanese”)
♪ ”Miwa Somen”: More than 1,200 years ago, a man in a shrine in Miwa of Sakurai city in Nara prefecture thought that the soil of Miwa and the clear water stream from Mt. Miwa are suitable for wheat cultivation. So, "Miwa Somen” was made from wheat flour whichi was made from wheat harvested in Miwa area. “Miwa Somen” was precious as preserved food of the Emperor’s court.
☆“Miwa Somen” was made by the method introduced from China. In Edo (Tokyo now), "Miwa Somen" was expressed as follows: “Its thinness is like yarn and its whiteness is like snow”. You are recommended to eat “Miwa Somen”, since it is produced in Miwa region even now.
♪ ”Kakinohazushi”: Persimmon (“Kaki” in Japanese) is cultivated mainly in Nishiyoshino and Gojo. regions in Nara prefecture, which corresponds that Nara’s persimmon production is estimated to the 2nd place nationwide. Because the persimmon leaves show strong antibacterial activity, "Kakinohazushi" is wrapped with persimmon leaves to avoid rot of the Sushi.
☆In the middle of Edo period, the fisherman of “Kii no kuni (Wakayama prefecture now)” went to Yoshino in Nara prefecture to sell marinade mackerel (“Shime-Saba” in Japanese). Yoshino was known as a persimmon production area. Therefore, put mackerel on vinegared rice and wrapped it with persimmon leaves (“Kaki no Ha” in Japanese). This is “Kakinohazushi”. When eat the Sushi, peel off “Kaki no Ha”. It was eaten at the summer festival from June to July. “Kakinohazushi” is a famous local cuisine in Nara prefecture.
♪ Nara prefecture is said to be the origin of Japanese history. So, Nara prefecture is said to be the most valuable tourist destination. Let’s go to Nara prefecture for enjoying visiting old shrines and temples each of which has own national treasures and eating local cuisines.
♪ Next will be mentioned for the FOOD CUTURE ANECDOTES of Osaka and Wakayama Prefectures as FOOD CUTURE ANECDOTES Part1 (7)-3.
Refer to FOOD CULTURE ANECDOTES Part 1 (7)-3 (Osaka and Wakayama Prefectures).
Refer to FOOD CULTURE ANECDOTES Part 1 (7)-1 (Shiga and Kyoto Prefectures).