FOOD CULTURE ANECDOTES Part 1 (9)-22019/05/24（Fri）
♪ Ehime prefecture is blessed with agricultural and marine products. In particular, it is the leading prefecture in Japan for the production of citrus fruits. Among citrus fruits harvested in the prefecture, those which show No 1 production amount in Japan are “Iyo (old name of Ehime prefecture) orange (“Iyo-kan” in Japanese)”, oneco mandarine (“Ponkan” in Japanese), a tangerine orange called “Kiyomi” in Japanese. The production amount of other citrus fruits situates in the fifth place. So, it is said that Ehime prefecture is the citrus kingdom. The prefecture faces the Uwa Sea (“Uwakai” in Japanese) and the Seto Inland Sea (“Setonaikai” in Japanese). Fish farming is popular in Uwakai. Among them, the ones with the highest yield are red sea bream (“Madai” in Japanese), yellow tail (“Buri” in Japanese), flounder (“Hirame” in Japanese), pearl shellfish (“Shinjugai” in Japanese), laver (“Nori” in Japanese), etc. On the other hand, sea surface fishery on Setonaikai is also popular. Such fish are bonito (“Katsuo” in Japanese), horse mackerel (“Aji” in Japanese), scabbard fish (“Tachiuo” in Japanese), etc.
☆ Generally, in order to flourish of agricultural products, optimal natural conditions such as temperature, rainfall, sunshine, soil quality, etc. should be prepared. It is also important to have people who are eager to cultivate agricultural products, and the existence of sponsors who support them financially.
☆ Because citrus producing regions such as Uwajima and Yawatahama face Setonaikai, there are well drained and show the average annual temperature of 15 °C or higher in August to October. Further, those regions have long sunshine hours. These conditions are optimum for growth of citrus fruits.
♪ The Ehime pefectural Institute for Citrus Fruits established in 1955 strongly contributed to the spread of breeding, species improvement and cultivation technology for citrus fruits. Here, let's introduce a citrus fruit having interesting name whose name is “Bushukan”. “Bushu” means “buddha’s hand”. It is an unusual shape where the fruit's end is divided like the fingers of the Buddha's hand. It is mainly used for ornamental and flower arrangement.
♪ There are some brand beefs, porks and chickens in Ehime prefecture.
☆ In Ehime prefecture, there are "Ishizuchi beef (“Ishizuchi-gyu” in Japanese)”, "Iyo-gyu-Taste of Silk" and “Iyo-gyu- Beer-gyu” as brand beefs. In addition, “Ehime Akane-gyu” was recently developed. This new brand beef is a “Black-heared beef (“Kuroge Wagyu” in Japanese) having red-colored meat. In order to make red-colored meat with high quality, orange juice squeezer and flaxseed oil were mixed in the feed.
☆ Ehime prefecture has "Ehime Sweet and Matured pork (“Ehime Amatoro Buta” in Japanese), “Potato pork (“Imo Buta” in Japanese)” as brand porks. The meat of “Ehime Amatoro Buta” has deep red color, soft and sweet nature. The feed of “Imo Buta" contains sweet potato. So, the meat shows sweet taste by vitamin E in sweet potato.
♪ Local cuisines using seafood harvested in Ehime prefecture, processed products, etc. are abundant, and all of them have the best taste.
☆ In around Imabari city, there is a local cuisine called "hot pot cuisine eaten by pirate (“Suigun Nabe" in Japanese). “Suigun” basically means “Water Army”. In this case, “Suigun” means “Murakami Suigun” that has been a strong pirate slammed in Setonaikai. “Murakami Suigun” conducted by Murakami family was active from 14 century to 15 century (most active period was from the end of 14 century to the begining of 15 century).
☆ “Suigun Nabe” was eaten wishing a victory before their fighting. Murakami's “Suigun Nabe” is a cuisine that sea food harvested from Setonaikai are simmered in pot. This cuisine can be eaten in Japanese restaurants in Ehime even now.
☆ "Pearl croquette" is a croquette that use pearl snail pillars of pearl shellfish cultured in Uwajima Sea as precious ingredient. It is characterized by the presence of black pearl oysters’s eyes in creamy potatoes.
♪ Thus, Ehime prefecture is eager to develop new local cuisines, and there are many such cuisines. Examples are “Yawatahama Trawl Burger”, “Matsuyama Long Egg-plant Burger” , “Hamachidori (name of brand chicken) Burger”, etc. These contain local seafoods, liverstock meats and vegetables.
♪ As for Ehime prefecture, citrus fruits are the best in Japan, so please eat them. After that, please enjoy sightseeing and eating. And take the hot spring, “Dogo Onsen”, in Matsuyama city, which is said to be the oldest hot spring in Japan.
♪ In Kochi refecture, bonito (“Katsuo” in Japanese) is famous ,because “Katsuo” is the “prefectural fish". In addition, the harvesting amount of moray (“Utsubo” in Japanese), whitebait (“Shirasu” in Japanese), bryx sprendens (“Kinmedai” in Japanese) is top class in in Japan. Furthermore, in this prefecture sea surface aquaculture is thriving. For example, red sea bream (“Madai” in Japanese), yellowtail (“Buri” in Japanese), great amberjack (“Kanpachi” in Japanese) and tuna (“Maguro” in Japanese) are aquacultural fish. In agriculture, ginger, leek, egg plant and green pepper are the top yields in Japan.
♪ The content here will be focused to the “Katsuo”. Therefore, it may be describe the following problems: the method how to catch “Katsuo” in Kochi, that is, the traditional bonito fishing method which is called “Single Hook Fishing (“Katsuo no Ipponnduri”), “Katsobushi” which is a bonito processing product for the seasoning of Japanese food, and a local cuisine using bonito which is “Katsuo no Tataki”.
☆〝Katsuo no Ipponduri” is the traditional fishing method in Kochi prefecture. A fisherman stands on the side or tip of fishing boat. The fisherman picks up “Katsuo” one after another using his fishing rod. This is a very powerful fishing method.
☆ When “Katso” is caught, fisherman swings the fishing rod back. When the fishing line reaches the top,the caught “Katsuo” naturallyt separates off from the bait.
Fishermen do not look behind during their fishing work. And the separated fish strikes a slanted slippy board which is set up at center of the boat. So that,the caught “Katsuo” slides down the board into water tank in the boat. It is said that good fisherman can catch about 2 “Katsuo” per second . After this, the “Katsuo” is refrigerated and frozen in the boat, and transported to nearest fishing port.
☆ Unfortunately, at present, in order to harvest a lot of “Katsuo”, longline fishing method and/or winding net fishing method by large fishing ships are becoming mainstream. These are squeezing the traditional “Katso no Ipponduri”. The caughting amount of “Katsuo” by “Ipponduri” method is much less than that by the modern methods mentioned above . But this traditional method causes the prevention of overfishing of “Katsuo”. “Katsuo” caught by “Ipponduri” does not suffer damage to “Katsuo”’s body, so it is sold expensive for high quality restaurants.
♪ ”Fermeted Dried Bonito” (“Katsuobushi” in Japanese) is an important processed material that supports the taste of Japanese food. We use “Katsuobushi” by sprinkling on foods. “Katsuobushi” is also used for Japanese soup stock. “Katsuobushi” is characterized by containing a large amount of inosinic acid which is “Umami” component.
☆ The preparation of ”Katsuobushi” from raw “Katsuo” is very time consuming.
When we eat raw “Katsuo”, fatty meat is preferred, while for “Katsuobushi” fatty meat is unsuitable. How to make “Katsobushi” is as follws. From “Katsuo”, remove their heads and internal organs. Cut such “Katsuo” to four sections. One section is said as “Fushi” in Japanese.
☆ The “Fushi”is lined up one by one in a metal basket. After stack 8 to 10 baskets, the baskets were simmer for about 60 to 90 minutes in hot water at 50 to 98 ° C. This process results to remove fish smell and to tighten the meat. After this process was over, put in a water tank. And, most of the skin, scales, subcutaneous fat and dirt are Removed. Further, bones are removed by hand one by one. Next, the bone-removed meats were steamed to remove water in the meats. This process is repeated many times. After that, the water-removed meat is mixed with raw meat in the ratio of 1:1.
And, the mixture is smoked nearly 15 times to adjust to be 28 % water content. The surface is changed to black color by tar at this time. Further, the black meat is dried for half a day under sunny condition, and then, leave it for 2 or 3 days. So, the dried meat gets moisture and softness. After that, the tar is scraped off and sunny-dried for 2 to 3 days, and the special “Katsubushi” mold is inoculated. And then store the inoculated “Fushi” in a controlled room (“Muro” in Japanese). When mold grows, fat in the surface of “Fush ” is broken down. Place the moldy “Fushi” on the sheet (“Mushiro” in Japanese) that has been spread outdoors and dry it under sun. Next, the mold is carefully removed from the dried “Fushi” using brush. In order to drain the water further, alternately repeat mold removing and sun drying.
♪ The above production process takes about 120 days, and the weight of the 5kg of “Raw Katsuo” is changed to 800 to 900g of “Katsuobushi”, and the water content is reduced to 12 to 15%.
☆ NexI will be described about “Katso no Tataki” which is one of the most famous local cuisine in Kochi prefecture. Well, what is “Katsuo no Tataki” ? “Katsuo” is bonito and “Tataki” is striking. In order to make “Katsuo no Tataki”, after finely cut cucumber, onion, Japanese ginger (“Myoga” in Japanese), etc are sprinkled on the meat of “Katsuo”, the meat is struck by belly of kitchen knife. So that, the flavor and taste of the ingredients are physically immersed into the meat of “Katsuo”.
Although meat of “Katsuo” is easy to rot, burning of the struck meat resists to rot. In addition, burning of the meat plays a role to confine the flavor and taste of Ingredients into the meat.Thus,”Katsuo no Tataki” is an excellent cuisine full of various wisdom.
♪ In Kochi prefecture, “Shimanto River”, which has the highest quality of water in Japan, flows. So, in this river, sweetfish (“Ayu” in Japanese), eel, river shrimp (“Kawaebi” In Japanese), a kind of fish of the Rhinogobius (“Gori” in Japanese), etc. can be harvested. These fish are grown in a cold and clean stream of this river. so they are tight that contribute to make excellent cuisines.
♪ Please visit Kochi prefecture and eat lots of delicious food. In addition, Kochi prefecture produced great people who built modern Japan. It is also the attraction of Kochi prefecture to touch this history.
♪ Next will be mentioned for the FOOD CUTURE ANECDOTES of Fukuoka and Saga prefectures as FOOD CULTURE ANECDOTES Part1 (10)-1.
Refer to FOOD CULTURE ANECDOTES Part 1 (9)-1 (Kagwa and Tokushima Prefectures).