Tomatoes: local varieties grown in Shizuoka
I had my good friend Rich in mind when I set off on my bicycle yesterday morning in the direction of the Abe River in Shizuoka City. This major river is dotted almost all the way up to its source with farmland. Very often, while the men are busy with staple crops like rice,tubers and even peanuts, some housewives grow vegetables and other produce as a “side business” to contribute some cash to their homesteads.
About an hour ride from my place one will find a JA (Japan Agriculture) market called “Agri Road Miwa” associated with 13 such housewives who sell their vegetables, fruit, flowers, tea, honey and home-made cakes on a daily basis, guaranteeing fresh produce everyday.
The only problem is that you must be there when the market opens at 9:30 and fight off the local “o-baasan/grannies”! LOL
Being seasonal produce only, you can expect something new every morning!
I had already picked some great burdock roots, pink potatoes and maountain veggies, when my eyes stopped on some unusual tomatoes.
Interestingly enough. the grannies were more interested in the lettuce and strawberries, so I had enough time to choose the best specimens!
“Black Tomato”. Actually it is a very deep red colour, practically dark blue-violet.
“Orange Tiger”. Beautiful name, isn’t it?
“Green Tiger”. A cousin of the above!
“White Tomato”. Actually more of a mild beige colour.
Bear in mind that all these tomatoes, in spite of their colour, were ripe.
I bought enough for myself and Yasaitei, a favourite local Japanese Izakaya which specializes in vegetables (I just give them away as the prices are simple ridiculous. If Yasaitei can promote these farmers’ products, I’m more than happy!).
Some actually did not reach my office intact (a long rough bicycle ride is not a great idea for shopping!). I just “sampled” them,… I ended up eating all the “damaged” tomatoes! They were sweet and tangy at the same time, firm and juicy, all basically of the same taste. No need for drinking water after that!
I stored the intact tomatoes in the fridge and later brought them to Yasatei. This izakaya is run by ladies only, and it was a discovery for them! No need to say that the tomatoes were immediately displayed for the customers’ pleasure!
Agri Road Miwa
Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Abeguchi Shinden, 537-1
Business hours: 09:30~15:30 (from 08:30 on Saturdays)
Even if you don’t understand Japanese look at their products!
Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Tokiwa-Cho, 1-6-2 Green Heights Wamon 1-C
Business hours: 17:30~22:00
Closed on Sundays
Reservations highly recommended