Shizuoka Agricultural Products: Japan Bazaar Supermarket in Shimada City

Aki Suzuki/鈴木朋 doing her Sunday shopping at Japan Bazaar!

Contrary to other Prefectures, Shizuoka Prefecture does not so much grow in large mass-producing farms but more in a myriad of highly specialized agricultural ventures.
Which means a lot of cooperation needed for marketing.
The good side of it all is that buyers can visit the supermarkets selling the products of so many small farmers in one single place for the pleasure and convenience of all, especially restaurateurs.

Such a place (there are many others of course!) is “Japan Bazaar” in Shimada City!
My good friend, Ms. Aki Suzuki, Chef at my favorite vegetables restaurant Yasaitei, regularly (that is, on Sundays) drives all the way from Shizuoka City to buy her ingredients there. A must destination for her when you realize they retail the products of more than 260 local farmers!

They even sell wooden fence poles and shiitake wood logs!

It is actually located in the middle of a very scenic spot in Shimada City next to immense tea fields and not far from the Oi River.
Now, let me show what they were selling on a Sunday at around lunch time (yesterday):

Flowers in pots.

Cut flowers for ikebana/flower arrangements.

Flowers is actually a major business in our Prefecture and all year round at that!

Leeks!

These little seeds on the left are actually gardenia/kuchinashi/梔子 seeds, mainly used as natural colorant!

Broccoli!

Winter/Spring onions, tender and juicy!

Shiitake mushrooms.

Daikon. I just couldn’t help taking a pic of that strange one!

These are daikon, too!

Great traceability!

Mini tomatoes.

Great eggs from Kikugawa City. Aki would come for them only!

Organic eggs from the same producer!

Shizuoka is strawberry country!

Potatoes.

Amanatsu/甘夏 oranges.

Pampeyu! The largest citrus in the world?

Suruga Elegant oranges.

Kintsuba/sword guard cakes.

Home-made bentos!

More of them!

Shizuoka Prefecture is growing more and more of its own rice!

Great traceability again!

Rice powder/Komeko/米粉, great for wheat allergics!

Home-made soap (not for eating!).

Home-made jams!

Tokoroten/Agar agar jelly and konnyaku jelly!

Shimada beef and pork!

Aki’s basket!

Traceability again: the hens that lay the eggs on sale!

Sake made with sake rice (gohyakumangoku) grown in Shimada City and brewed by Oomuraya Brewery (next article!)

(Farmers Market) Japan Bazaar
427-0111 Shizuoka ken, Shimada Shi, Sakamoto, 4245-3
Tel.: 0547-5505
Fax: 0547-38-5507
Business hours: 09:00~17:30
50-car park
Closed on New Year only

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Dessert Plates at Rouge & Piquant

Service: Friendly, attentive and without any fuss
Facilities: Great tidiness, beautiful washroom
Prices: Reasonable
Strong points: Very natural taste cakes, great artistic food design, late hours
Entirely non-smoking!

It’s been some time since I visited Rouge & Piquant which has become an institution of its own in Shizuoka City!
Last Friday I finally found a good reason to sample its supreme desserts after a great dinner at an Italian restaurant. We had decided to skip the dessert there for an extravagant finish to the evening!

Rouge Et Piquant is definitely an off-the-beaten-tracks cafe/cake shop.
The opening hours (14:00~24:00) are surely not the norm in Japan. Ms. Kanae Tsunogai’s confectionery concept shows some courage and determination in a very stereotyped country in spite of all its great creators. The accent is not on the sweetness, but on the true taste of the ingredients. So do not expect mountains of sugar or sweeteners. Her cakes are definitely for an adult audience in all the senses of the expression!

Cakes do not lay for an eternity inside a glass display, but their ingredients are assembled on order at the last second before being served. This is slow food cakes and desserts at their best!

Cakes are served individually or in dessert combination plates.
I opted for the “Rouge/Red” dessert consisting of two cakes:

A small red fruit tart with cassis, redcurrant, raspberry, blueberries, strawberry and apple slices mounted on a soft Chantilly Cream!

Raspberry, orange, pear, cassis sorbet balls, orange wedges and meringue artistically arranged on a sablé biscuit!
The sauce is raspberry coulis.

My friend opted for the “Chocolat/Chocolate” plate which consisted of:

Chocolate and banana cake with slices of chocolate génoise intersped with chocolate mousse and banana, the whole topped with Chantilly Cream and chocolate flakes!

And a sablé biscuit cup filled with (naturally!) home-made vanilla and caramel ice cream decorated with almonds and a chocolate ribbon.
The sauce is chocolate cream.

Need I comment any further?

Rouge Et Piquant
420-0032 Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Ryogae-Cho, 2-4-29, Aspis Bldg. 2F
Tel.: 054-221-4538
Business Hours: 14:00~2:00
Closed on Mondays
Sits 2~3 at the counter and 8~10 at tables

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Japan Earthquake and Tsunami (March 2011): The suddenly increased importance of Shizuoka

A Chinese meal served at Cham exclusively made up of vegetables, meat and seafood from Shizuoka.

Some numbers make you think twice, and even many more times in the present situation created by the recent catastrophes in North East Japan:
Shizuoka Prefecture (4,000,000 souls) is the only Prefecture in Japan capable to survive exclusively on its own food for a period of 6 months….

But Shizuoka naturally will not keep its food to itself!
But in the advent of the need to feed the enormous metropolis that Tokyo is, Shizuoka suddenly finds itself on the front line to produce food of all kinds to nourish the hungry capital and the rest of Japan.

I should know as I work for Agrigraph which is constantly fielding phone calls and e-mails requesting help to obtain more products from our Prefecture.

Incredible efforts are witnessed to help the battered Prefectures in the North East with basic commodities such as blankets, tents, fuel, toiletries and canned food.
Tomorrow Agrigraph will spend a whole day collecting new towels, tea bags (for hot drinks) and rice inside the Rousaikaikan, a hall that can welcome 300 people.

Shizuoka-grown organic vegetables served at Uzu.

Another worrying problem has surfaced when 4 food-producing Prefectures in the North did not pass the country’s strict radioactive limits (far too strict in my own view). Apart of the dire fact that a lot of people have lost their life earnings, Tokyo and the rest of Japan have to look elsewhere for food.
Shizuoka, being one of the rare Prefectures which can grow food all year, is already feeling the pressure for more produce.

At Agrigraph we are already helping with recruiting young and not so young farmers from the devastated North East to come and help Shizuoka farmers to satisfy the demand. This will allow farmers from the north east to earn money at a work they know for the help of their families back home.
We have already suggested to Governor Kawakatsu to accelerate the recruitment and to help exploit the 12,000 ha of good but unused farmland in our Prefecture.

Shizuoka organic vegetables served at Tetsuya Sugimoto

When one realizes that Shizuoka is not only celebrated for its vegetables and fruit, but also for its incredible seafood and more recently for its high-quality meat, the pressure will be nearly overwhelming to deliver to Tokyo instead of locally…
But the Japanese are wise. I’m sure they will find a way.
They deserve it!

Until then, let’s help them!

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Warren Bobrow, Bread + Butter, Zoy Zhang, Hungry Neko, Think Twice, Frank Fariello, Mangantayon, Hapabento, Elinluv Tidbit Corner, Tokyo Terrace, Maison de Christina, Chrys Niles,Lexi, Culinary Musings, Wheeling Gourmet, Comestiblog, Chronicles Of A Curious Cook, Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Palate To Pen, Yellin Yakimono Gallery, Tokyo Terrace, Hilah Cooking, More than a Mount Full, Arkonite Bento, Happy Little Bento; 5 Star Foodie; Jefferson’s Table; Oyster Culture; Gourmet Fury; Island Vittles; Good Beer & Country Boys; Rubber Slippers In Italy; Color Food daidokoro/Osaka;/a; The Witchy Kitchen; Citron Et Vanille, Lunsj Med Buffet/Estonian Gastronomy (English), Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Chrisoscope, Agrigraph, The Agriculture Portal to shizuoka!

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Shizuoka Agricultural Products: Stick Ginger at Hatada Garden

Toshikatsu Hatada/畑田敏克, the 7th generation of the Hatada Family!

With Chiba and Inbaraki Prefectures, stick ginger (or leaf ginger/ha shyouga/葉生姜 in Japanese) is a specialty of Shizuoka Prefecture, and the best are said to be cultivated in Kunou/久能, Suruga Ku, Shizuoka City near the sea where the sandy soil is most propitious!

Yesterday morning I found the whole family and their employees hard at work cleaning, sorting, cutting and packaging the leaf ginger harvested that morning.
Father, Mother, son and 4 staff, including a full time are not too many to harvest the vegetable grown on 1,500 tsubo/4,000 square meters in greenhouses.

Toshikatsu’s fater hard at work!
Toshikatsu’s grandfather first grew leaf ginger 34 years ago!

Ready for packaging. Beautiful, aren’t they?

For a closer look!

The root extremity will be snapped off (not cut!).

The snapped off extremities will not be thrown away. They are just too good! Their filaments and other unwanted parts can easily be pared off before the pieces of fresh ginger can be served in many ways, cooked or raw.
Toshikatsu recommend them fried rolled into tasty bacon!

Toshikatsu makes his own jam with the snapped off extremities of the fresh ginger and honey only. A true health food!

Or pickle them in amazu/sweet vinegar! I was offered that lot! a beauty!

The leaf ginger are carefully selected before delivery.

They usually harvest enough to prepare 100 boxes daily, but they have been asked to limit their delivery to forty daily boxes by their Association due to the recent earthquakes in north east Japan.

Half the boxes will be delivered immediately to Tokyo and the other half to various parts of Shizuoka Prefecture.

The inside of the leaf house greenhouses are hot!
I was advised to take off as many clothes as possible before entering.
40 degrees Celsius! No wonder!
The temperature is controlled by automatic ventilators, but Toshikatsu has to visit the greenhouses every morning and lift the second vinyl sheets where, if one is not careful, the temperature might go into the 70’s!

As for fertilizers, Toshikatsu uses only organic fertilizer, liquid or solid.
Pesticides will be spread at the the bare minimum only once a year.

The care for the health and quality of the vegetables will mean an unavoidable number of them rotting away that have to be taken out at once.

Toshikatsu does not market the rhyzomes (roots) that are found in markets all over the world, but use them for planting.

Choosing the right rhyzomes requires a lot of experience, good eyes, nose and ears (the snap sound is the best indictaion of their health!)!
The ryzhomes will be divided and planted from January to April to produce crops from March to July.
I can assure that the planting alone is back-breaking work!

Toshikatsu and his family grow “leafy” leeks between July and December inside the same greenhouses.
They also grow all year round tomatoes on 300 tsubo/1,000 square meters inside green huses, maily Momotaro and Chuudama varieties.
I certainly intend to come back soon to have a close look at those tomatoes!

Now, I took two batches of those freh leaf ginger with me to introduce them to restaurants of my own choosing. Two gastronomic articles are coming very soon!

Toshikatsu Hatada/畑田敏克
Hatada Garden/畑田農園
422-8015 Shizuoka Shi, Suruga Ku, Naka Hiramatsu, 212/静岡市駿河区中平松212
Tel/Fax: 054-238-3484
Mobile Phone: 09014137499
Corporate and individual orders accepted!

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Today’s Lunch Box/Bento (’11/19): European-style Sushi Bento!

When I asked this morning how I should call todays’s bento, she replied “European-style Bento”!
Now, what could be a European-style bento?

To me it looked like a “chirashizushi/Decoration sushi”!
Aright, the boiled shrimps do look foreign…
Anywa th Missus, after steaming and preparing the sushi rice mixed it with par;ey, capers, broken boiled egg and walnuts.

The sliced stuffed olives do add a Spanish note…
At least it was tasty and colorful (and well-balanced)!

The salad-dessert dish included “petit-vert”/ a Brussels sprouts and cabbage hybrid. Very tasty and crispy! Carrot salad as always, boiled black beans (sweet) and Shizuoka Ameera Rubbins Pearl Tomatoes. The latter two were sweet enough to make for the dessert!

Alright, it is European and delicious at that! LOL

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Japan Earthquake and Tsunami (March 2011): Food collected by Mark & Kunie Thornton have reached Miyagi Prefecture!

Mark & Kunie/邦恵 Thornton with the fishermen from Yaizu City who volunteered to carry the food to Miyagi Prefecture!

Mark and Kunie packed their car with the 12 boxes full of food before driving all the way across the Prefecture to the harbor of Yaizu City!

The tuna fishing boat that transported mark and Kunie’s donations among all the help from Shizuoka Prefecture!

The name of the boat to remember: Wakaba Maru No 5 Yaizu!
“Wakaba” is the actual name of the boat. “Maru” means “round” and “boat”. Yaizu is the calling port.

Everyday heroes brave the sea and elements (and others) to bring help!

In spite of all the hardships there are thousands (and more) people deeply aware of what’s needed in times of crisis.
It is those “little gestures” that make this world a little easier to live in!

Mark, Kunie, gals and lads and all the fishermen that braved the elements, a profound thanks to all and from all once again!

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Today’s Lunch Box/Bento (’11/18): Chahan Bento!

The Missus was left with plenty of rice from last night dinner, so she prepared “Chahan”

Chahan/チャハン means “Fried Rice” as is understood in Chinese gastronomy.
The Japanese are very fond of this rice dish and prepare it in an infinite number of manners and styles.
The Missus simply fried last night night7s rice with a little oil, minced Japanese cucumber picles and shredded “kanidama/surimi”
Simple ni\ough with nice colors again and healthy. She added some Kyoto-style pickled cucumbers for extra taste.

The side dish was very Japanese in concept with an eye for balance, both in health and design.

Chikuwa/fish paste tubes filled with shiso leaf and sweet umeboshi/Japanese pickled plum. Chikuwa are popular in many manners, including oden.
“Snap Endou” or green peas in their pods. They are called “mange tou” (“eat all”) in French. Just boiled they are sweet and tender.

The “tamagoyaki”/Japanese omelette contained sakura ebi/cherry shrimps only found in our Prefecture. A great morsel! The plum tomatoes were sweet and could be considered the dessert part. Finally the Missus included her carrot tagliatelle salad.

Very satisfying!

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