Today’s Bento/Lunch Box (12/14): Irish Salmon & Shizuoka Dekopon Sushi Bento!

Using orange with the rice of sushi?
Yes, it is definitely a good idea when you consider it balances the saltiness of the fish so well!

It also makes for beautiful colors!
The Missus having prepared the sushi rice as usual mixed it with chopped parsley and shredded dekopon orange from Mr. Onuma’s Farm!

She then made a well in the middle to provide for a bed of lettuce on which she rested a couple of roses made up with smoked salmon just brought to us by an Irish friend decorated with pink pepper seeds and lemon.

As for the salad (no need for dessert with all the orange!) box, plenty of boiled of Brussels sprouts, boiled shrimps and cherry tomatoes with a little mayonnaise, and plenty of boiled black beans (for dessert?)

Very colorful and so tasty!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

The Indian Tourist, Masala Herb by Helene Dsouza in Goa, India
Mummy I Can Cook! by Shu Han in London
Pierre.Cuisine, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, 47 Japanese Farms Through The Eyes of Its Rural Communities, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento,Adventures in Bento Making, American Bent, Beanbento, Bento No, Bento Wo Tsukurimashou, Cooking Cute, Eula, Hapabento , Happy Bento, Jacki’s Bento Blog, Kitchen Cow, Leggo My Obento, Le Petit Journal Bento & CO (French), Lunch In A Box,
Susan at Arkonlite, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, The Herbed Kitchen, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Bento Lunch Blog (German), Adventures In Bento, Anna The Red’s Bento Factory, Cooking Cute, Timeless Gourmet, Bento Bug, Ideal Meal, Bentosaurus, Mr. Foodie (London/UK), Ohayo Bento,

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

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Dekopon Oranges Producer: Nobuhiko Onuma

Nobuhiko Onuma/小沼宣彦 between his daughter/睦代, and wife, Yoshiko/良子!

Dekopon (デコポン) is a seedless and very sweet citrus fruit, a hybrid between Kiyomi and ponkan (Nakano no.3), developed in Japan in 1972 starting from Kyushu Island. Originally a brand name, Dekopon has become a genericized trademark and it is used to refer to all brands of the fruit; the generic name is shiranuhi or shiranui (不知火). Dekopon is distinctive due to its sweet taste, large size and the large protruding bump on the top of the fruit.
Shizuoka prefecture has become a major producer thanks to its ideal climate.

Okitsu Mountains under a glaring sun.

I recently had the chance to make a new friend, Ms. Chikayo Onuma working as a nurse at the Shizuoka Children’s Hospital, whose parents are producers of Dekopon and other oranges in Okitsu, Shimizu Ku, Shizuoka City!
Her parents were very kind to accept this foreign resident to visit and interview them!
Okitsu in Shizuoka Prefecture is nationally famous for its citrus fruits thanks to an ideal sun exposure and wide differences of temperature between day and night contributing to an extraordinary sweetness of the fruit.

Unfortunately the picking season was finished but we still had a lot to talk about before moving to the Onuma’s home to have a look at their crops.
Mr. Onuma produces an annual crop of 3,000 kg of Dekopon, 1,000 kg of Aoshima (Aoshima Shutarou) Oranges, as well as Kiyomi and Suruga Elegant varieties.

A typical farmhouse in Shizuoka Prefecture!

Mr. Onuma sells some of his crop through the JA but mostly deals with a network of private customers and accepts orders through the phone/fax as long as there are any fruit left. You had better hurry as they will disappear soon!

Mr. Onuma was kind enough to prepare an explanation of the cultivation for my perusal:
May: Flowering
July~August: Pruning and thinning the trees to keep only the best fruit. A neck braking work!
From August: regular watering
About the 20th of November: Each fruit is individually protected with a paper bag. More neck-breaking work!
From January 20th: Harvesting.

But the work is far from being finished as I will explain later!

Moreover, fungicide has to be spread 12 times a year.
Mr. Onuma told me that he keeps any such fungicide to a minimum and does not use any other agrichemicals.

More work is to come as the fruit will be stored in a dark cool shed to mature.
The fruit must attain a level of 13 on the official sweetness scale before they may be called Dekopon.
Mr. Onuma’s crop of Dekopon has been awarded the special appellation of shiranuhi (不知火) by the Prefecture, as a sure mark of its excellence!

Mr. Ozawa’ shiranuhi have even been prized in spite of the fierce competition!

Even Japanese nationals will be hard pressed to pronounce the Kanji for shiranuhi (不知火) properly!

Temperature inside the shed is strictly regulated!

And the place is also kept dark at all times!

Moreover, each fruit has to be individually wrapped in an open vinyl pouch!
I can’t start to imagine all the work and time spent!

Not to mention all the back-breaking work carrying 10 kg trays out and preparing orders!

Mr. Ozawa’s dekopon in my bento!

All this to make sure that all the fruit reach customers in the perfect state!
Thank you so much, Mr. Onuma!

Nobuhiko Onuma/小沼宣彦, Dekopon and oranges producer
424-Shizuoka City, Shimizu Ku, Okitsu Inoue Machi, 177
424-0202静岡市清水区興津井上町177
Tel./Fax: 054-369-2670

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

The Indian Tourist, Masala Herb by Helene Dsouza in Goa, India
Mummy I Can Cook! by Shu Han in London
Pierre.Cuisine, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, 47 Japanese Farms Through The Eyes of Its Rural Communities, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento,Adventures in Bento Making, American Bent, Beanbento, Bento No, Bento Wo Tsukurimashou, Cooking Cute, Eula, Hapabento , Happy Bento, Jacki’s Bento Blog, Kitchen Cow, Leggo My Obento, Le Petit Journal Bento & CO (French), Lunch In A Box,
Susan at Arkonlite, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, The Herbed Kitchen, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Bento Lunch Blog (German), Adventures In Bento, Anna The Red’s Bento Factory, Cooking Cute, Timeless Gourmet, Bento Bug, Ideal Meal, Bentosaurus, Mr. Foodie (London/UK), Ohayo Bento,

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Today’s Bento/Lunch Box (12/13): Chicken Wings, Broccolini & Dekopon Bento!

Chicken wings seem to be a universal favorite and I surely like them although they are prepared with a slight difference here in Japan!

Today’s main box certainly included quite a few specialties from the Missus!

Having steamed fresh rice, she filled the main box with it and topped with chicken wings leftovers from last night.
The Missus makes her chicken wings in two steps:
1) She fries them first in oil over a hot fire.
2) After having attained a nice brown color she simmers them with mirin, soy sauce, “something else”, hot chilies and Coca Cola!
The meat is so tender and juicy that you can detach it from the bones with your fingers!
What you see above is the meat without the bones!
The Missus added her special marinated boiled egg with a sprinkle of black sesame seeds for contrast.

She added plenty of lightly boiled broccolini (also called rape flowers) seasoned with gomadare/sesame dressing and sesame seeds and a cup of home-made pickles: carrot. leaf ginger, cucumber and pimentoes.

For salad and dessert: lettuce and mini tomatoes and “dekopon” oranges. The latter come from Onuma Farm in Okitsu, Shimizu Ku, Shizuoka City (report coming soon!)! Incredibly sweet and fragrant!

Plentiful, tasty and colorful. The perfect lunch before going to interview a farmer all afternoon!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

The Indian Tourist, Masala Herb by Helene Dsouza in Goa, India
Mummy I Can Cook! by Shu Han in London
Pierre.Cuisine, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, 47 Japanese Farms Through The Eyes of Its Rural Communities, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento,Adventures in Bento Making, American Bent, Beanbento, Bento No, Bento Wo Tsukurimashou, Cooking Cute, Eula, Hapabento , Happy Bento, Jacki’s Bento Blog, Kitchen Cow, Leggo My Obento, Le Petit Journal Bento & CO (French), Lunch In A Box,
Susan at Arkonlite, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, The Herbed Kitchen, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Bento Lunch Blog (German), Adventures In Bento, Anna The Red’s Bento Factory, Cooking Cute, Timeless Gourmet, Bento Bug, Ideal Meal, Bentosaurus, Mr. Foodie (London/UK), Ohayo Bento,

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Bryan Baird’s Newsletter (2012/03/09): A Season for Stout

Baird Beer & Taproom Events Bulletin
bryan-sayuri.gif

A Season for Stout

Dear Taproom Friend & Baird Beer Enthusiast:

Stouts are top-fermented ales that are black in color. While the captivating mystery of Stout is tied to its midnight hue, the opaque darkness of the style also tends to camouflage the diversity of flavor inherent in it. This is a shame because all black beers most definitely are not the same. For me personally, exploration of the flavor diversity inherent in the Stout category has been a joyful road of discovery. Today, I would like to share some of that joy in the form of two special seasonal sweet stouts that we are releasing: Mama’s Milk Stout and Chocolate Wheat Stout.

New Baird Beer Seasonal Releases:
*Mama’s Milk Stout (5%):

Milk Stout is a stout of moderate gravity and alcohol that is brewed with a portion of milk sugar (lactose). This lactose is not fermentable by brewer’s yeast and thus remains in the beer after fermentation, contributing to the body and mouthfeel of the beer. Milk Stout was once thought to be a beer good for nursing mothers. The flavor is certainly one that makes the imbiber feel wholesomely nourished.

Mama’s Milk Stout is available on both draught and in bottles (630 ml).

*Chocolate Wheat Stout (5%):

This is another version of a sweet stout (i.e. a low-attenuated stout that is rich and full in body and mouthfeel). Normally, stouts derive their color and roasty character primarily from roast barely and/or black patent malt. This stout is brewed with a single specialty malt from Germany: chocolate wheat. Chocolate malt is less heavily roasted and charred than roast barely or black patent malt, while wheat tends to be lighter, tangier, and rounder in flavor than barley.

Chocolate Wheat Stout is available on draught only.

These unique seasonal stouts begin pouring today from the taps of our Taproom pubs. They will be available at other fine Baird Beer retailing establishments in Japan beginning Wednesday, March 28.

Cheers,

Bryan Baird

Baird Brewing Company
Numazu, Japan
HOMEPAGE

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

The Indian Tourist, Masala Herb by Helene Dsouza in Goa, India
Mummy I Can Cook! by Shu Han in London
Pierre.Cuisine, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, 47 Japanese Farms Through The Eyes of Its Rural Communities, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento,Adventures in Bento Making, American Bent, Beanbento, Bento No, Bento Wo Tsukurimashou, Cooking Cute, Eula, Hapabento , Happy Bento, Jacki’s Bento Blog, Kitchen Cow, Leggo My Obento, Le Petit Journal Bento & CO (French), Lunch In A Box,
Susan at Arkonlite, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, The Herbed Kitchen, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Bento Lunch Blog (German), Adventures In Bento, Anna The Red’s Bento Factory, Cooking Cute, Timeless Gourmet, Bento Bug, Ideal Meal, Bentosaurus, Mr. Foodie (London/UK), Ohayo Bento,

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Shizuoka Sake: 2012 Shizuoka Prefecture New Sake Tasting Annual Meet

All pictures credited to MARCUS GRANDON

On the 26th of March 2012 was the 2012 Edition of the Shizuoka New Sake Tasting Annual Meet (in Japanese 静岡県清酒鑑評会出品酒きき酒会) held on the 4th floor of Aoi Tower in front of Shizuoka JR Station.

I still managed to go to the wrong building and arrived late. But my good friend Marcus Grandon I have succeeded in turning into a true Japanese sake fan saved my day and had started taking pictures! For once I didn’t have to worry about this aspect of reporting as Marcus is a professional photographer!

This kind of event has become quite a big affair and the organizing Shizuoka Prefecture Sake Breweries Association does have to limit numbers!
Professionals, amateurs, bloggers and sake lovers were already in the midst of serious tasting business and quite a few were taking notes!

A dedicated taster!

A great opportunity to meet some old and new friends!

Kokkou/国香, one of the vaunted Shizuoka sake!
The event, although based on personal (some people did crash, though!) invitations was free of charge and each guest was provided with a tasting glass and pamphlets describing the sake on display!

The brewers were also on hand to answer the questions asked by true sake officionados!

Guests poured the sake themselves!

And certainly enjoyed it!

Naturally the ladies took the opportunity to share some light talk!

The next event is for June in Yaizu City!
Don’t miss it!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

The Indian Tourist, Masala Herb by Helene Dsouza in Goa, India
Mummy I Can Cook! by Shu Han in London
Pierre.Cuisine, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, 47 Japanese Farms Through The Eyes of Its Rural Communities, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento,Adventures in Bento Making, American Bent, Beanbento, Bento No, Bento Wo Tsukurimashou, Cooking Cute, Eula, Hapabento , Happy Bento, Jacki’s Bento Blog, Kitchen Cow, Leggo My Obento, Le Petit Journal Bento & CO (French), Lunch In A Box,
Susan at Arkonlite, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, The Herbed Kitchen, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Bento Lunch Blog (German), Adventures In Bento, Anna The Red’s Bento Factory, Cooking Cute, Timeless Gourmet, Bento Bug, Ideal Meal, Bentosaurus, Mr. Foodie (London/UK), Ohayo Bento,

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Japanese Shellfish Species 10: Ark Shell-Bloody Clam-Akagai-赤貝

AKAGAI-5
(Ark shell sashimi in its own shell)

Akagai or Ark Shell tends to frighten potential sheffish amateurs because of its other English name, “Bloody Shell”, not only because of its deep reddish-orange colour, but also because of the reddish water it gives off upon opening.

AKAGAI-1

Now, shellfish does not have blood in our mammal concept.
Bear in mind that many shellfish are used for dyeing cloth, and if if I’m not mistaken, ark shells fulfill both utilitarian and gastronomic needs.

AKAGAI-2

It does require some skill to open and present.

AKAGAI-3

The main “Tongue” and “Thread/Akahimo” are edible.

The best season is Autumn, although they are available all year round. They are pretty abondant along the Japan southern coastlines, but many of them are also imported from Korea and China amounting to 80% of the total domestic consumption.

Ark shells are usually not served cooked.
Sashimi (see top picture) is very much appreciated but sushi nigiri is definitely the most popular way to savour them!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

The Indian Tourist, Masala Herb by Helene Dsouza in Goa, India
Mummy I Can Cook! by Shu Han in London
Pierre.Cuisine, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, 47 Japanese Farms Through The Eyes of Its Rural Communities, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento,Adventures in Bento Making, American Bent, Beanbento, Bento No, Bento Wo Tsukurimashou, Cooking Cute, Eula, Hapabento , Happy Bento, Jacki’s Bento Blog, Kitchen Cow, Leggo My Obento, Le Petit Journal Bento & CO (French), Lunch In A Box,
Susan at Arkonlite, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, The Herbed Kitchen, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Bento Lunch Blog (German), Adventures In Bento, Anna The Red’s Bento Factory, Cooking Cute, Timeless Gourmet, Bento Bug, Ideal Meal, Bentosaurus, Mr. Foodie (London/UK), Ohayo Bento,

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Spring Flowers in Shizuoka City, Japan!

White peonies?

Spring has finally arived with a steep rise temperature and flowers blooming everywhere although the main cherry trees are still late and will bloom only for the Shizuoka Festival taking place next week (report in the offing!)!

I couldn’t help taking pictures on my way to work yhis mornig.
My office is only a 10-miute bicycle ride away and I took these pics along the way to show you the simple pleasures of everyday life in Japan!
I don’t know the names of many of these flowers and I hope my friends help me there!
I will credit them of course!

All pices are shown in the order on my trip to work!

I know the French word for these but not the English one!

These small white flower bushes are very popular in Japan!

Late blooming Japanese plum tree.

Red camelias in front of a vetenerary hospital.

Rape flowers.

Not flowers, but kumquats!

Cherry blossoms.

Large cherry blossom variety.

Winter oranges!

More white peonies?

Cherry blossoms at a kindergarten!

Very popular again but I don’t know their name…

Cherry blossoms.

White peonies again?

Peeking over the hedge…

I don’t know their name but their yellow color suit the nearby police-box well!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

The Indian Tourist, Masala Herb by Helene Dsouza in Goa, India
Mummy I Can Cook! by Shu Han in London
Pierre.Cuisine, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, 47 Japanese Farms Through The Eyes of Its Rural Communities, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento,Adventures in Bento Making, American Bent, Beanbento, Bento No, Bento Wo Tsukurimashou, Cooking Cute, Eula, Hapabento , Happy Bento, Jacki’s Bento Blog, Kitchen Cow, Leggo My Obento, Le Petit Journal Bento & CO (French), Lunch In A Box,
Susan at Arkonlite, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, The Herbed Kitchen, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Bento Lunch Blog (German), Adventures In Bento, Anna The Red’s Bento Factory, Cooking Cute, Timeless Gourmet, Bento Bug, Ideal Meal, Bentosaurus, Mr. Foodie (London/UK), Ohayo Bento,

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery