Category Archives: Japanese Gastronomy

Shizuoka Food Fair 2

Shizuoka Wasabi! (80% of the national production!)

As I said in my first installment, Shizuoka Prefecture has put some efforts into advertizing their own goods, as for agriculture and crafts, for some time, and a fairly big Food Fair (しずおか食の彩典) was organized on the 19th and 20th of February at Twin Messe in Shizuoka City.

This is the second part of my report, so please follow me!

M C Food Service Co. Ltd. Now, what is that lonely gentleman serving?

Croquettes and Spicy fried potatoes! Can you guess which one is called Mount Fuji Croquette?

Fujieda Asa Ramen/Fujieda City Morning Ramen. Yes, they eat ramen in the morning there!

They are also called “Chuuka Soba/中華そば”. Unfortunately they didn’t serve any but in their packs!

Marumatsu Co. Ltd. in Hamamatsu City. They make gyooza/餃子!

The free samples were already gone!

Some stands offered specialties from other prefectures: Yonezawa Beef Charcoal-Grilled Beef/米沢牛炭火焼肉!

They also had croquettes!

Rooster Foods. Now, where did they come from? Among others they served yakisoba!

And Okonomiyaki! They are from Fujinomiya!

Masaki Shoten, specializing in beef from Sasebo (Kyushu Island), 100% beef and American style…

Sasebo Beef Brochettes!

Marikomine Giant Tai Yaki!

Never saw such big Tai Yaki before!

Izumi Foods serving Hiroshima-style okonomiyaki/広島焼 and yakisoba wrapped in omelette/オムそば!

Hiroshima-style okonomiyaki, unless it is another variety just called Hiroshima Yaki!

Shioya Foods also serving Sasebo Beef, but as hamburgers!

Beef Tongue Sausages/牛タンソーセージ! Now, that’s a first!

Field Co. from Miyazaki Prefecture (Kyushu Island) serving their own beef!

These doughnuts are not a Miyazaki Prefecture’ specialty, but Okinawan Saataa-andagi/サーターアンダギー!

El Corazon Co. were serving Japanese favorites.

Deep-fried seafood cakes made from octopus, shrimps, scallops and so on.

Yokote yakisoba from Akita Prefecture!

The fried eggs will be served on top of the yakisoba!

Back to Shizuoka with the famous oden restaurant, Umi Boozu/海ぼうず!

Shizuoka Oden!

To be continued soon (hopefully still in the proper sequence! LOL)

RECOMMENDED RELATED SITES:
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!

Please check the new postings at:
sake, shochu and sushi

Shizuoka Food Fair 1

Shizuoka Prefecture has put some efforts into advertizing their own goods, as for agriculture and crafts, for some time, and a fairly big Food Fair (しずおか食の彩典) was organized on the 19th and 20th of February at Twin Messe in Shizuoka City.

The event was a good start, but I wished it would have been a bit better organized and more lively, but Shizuoka is probably the most conservative prefecture in Japan for all its incredible products and producers and it will take some time before it really becomes a full-fledged event. At least let’s give them a chance!

Still, there was a lot to see (and taste), and I will try to show everything in a series of easy-to read articles!

Next time I meet some of the organizers I will tell them (it is my “job”, actually!) to better indicate the way!
Only one board (in the wrong place) and no sign at the entrance of the actual hall!

Although I came at the very time of the opening, I can’t say that the information desk was very useful…

I tried to follow the “official sequence” and started with the JA/Japan Agriculture (government-sponsored) booths.
This is the JA Suruga (Suruga Bay) booth with plenty of oranges.

JA Shimizu (Shizuoka City, Shimizu Ku) does represent a very large area and products.
They chose to concentrate on “Red Ole” tomatoes and “Harumi” oranges!

The JA Shizuoka City, covering an even larger area!

Beautiful green tea for all to enjoy!

JA Oigawa, from Central Shizuoka Prefecture.

“Aoshima” Oranges. So cheap!

JA Hainan, a vegetable-growing area.

Beautiful lettuces and shiny daikon!

JA Shizuoka Prefecture. Now, that is covering an area with the population of New Zealand….

Celery! Fair enough, Shizuoka Prefecture produces half of the total national crop!

Shizuoka Prefecture Strawberry Growers Association.
Now, we are talking about big business!

I must say that the “Strawberry Lady” had a great way with customers and reporters!

“Benihoppe/Red Cheeks” Strawberries! Considered as the best in Japan!

The next series of booths dealt with ready-to-serve-food in general.
Pizza Nao from Hamamatsu City.

Oven-Baked pizzas inside a trailer!
Looking forward to my next trip to Hamamatsu City! LOL

Soft Ice creams at the Cornette trailer!

Judging form the looks of the lady, these soft ice creams ought to be delicious!

Shirokiya Cakes!
After proceeding from A7 directly to H1, I found myself searching in the program for E20…. (Organization, please!)

But the Japanese cakes/wagashi certainly looked beautiful and yummy!

To be continued soon (hopefully in the proper sequence! LOL)

RECOMMENDED RELATED SITES:
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!

Please check the new postings at:
sake, shochu and sushi

Bryan Baird’s Newsletter (2011/02/16)

Baird Beer & Taproom Events Bulletin
bryan-sayuri.gif

Ganko Oyaji Barley Wine 2011 Debut; Barley Wine Beer School @ Nakameguro Taproom

Dear Taproom Friend & Baird Beer Enthusiast:

It is the time of year when the big bear of the Baird Beer world, Ganko Oyaji Barley Wine, emerges from its hibernal rest in the Baird Brewery cellars. Ganko Oyaji Barley Wine 2011 will debut, along with its new brand artwork, on Saturday, February 26 (coinciding with the kick-off of our Nakameguro Taproom Barley Wine Beer School event).

New Baird Beer Seasonal Releases:

*Ganko Oyaji Barley Wine 2011 (ABV 9.5%):

Brewed in June 2010 and packaged upon krausening in July, Ganko Oyaji 2011 sports a grist bill consisting of floor-malted Maris Otter and Bohemian Pils, as well as British crystal malt and 10% Japanese red (akato) sugar. This year we lowered the starting gravity somewhat(23.9 Plato), primarily fermented with an American Ale yeast, increased the hop bitterness (75 IBU), and krausened with our house Scottish Ale yeast. The result is a potently complex yet extraordinarily balanced big beer. Ganko Oyaji is an ideal after-dinner or before-bed restorative; it might even be delicious at breakfast too! It promises to condition nicely for months and years to come.

Ganko Oyaji Barley Wine 2011 will be available on draught at all of our Taproom pubs and at other Baird Beer retailing restaurants beginning Saturday, February 26. Bottles (633 ml) can be purchased direct from our brewery E-Shop and through the fine family of Baird Beer retailing liquor shops in Japan beginning the same day. Vertical tastings of three years of Ganko Oyaji (2008, 2010, 2011) will be possible exclusively at our Nakameguro Taproom. A small number of kegs of the 2008 Ganko Oyaji remain available for retailer purchase.

Upcoming Taproom Events:

*Nakameguro Taproom Barley Wine Beer School (Saturday-Sunday, February 26-27):

This is another in our popular series of Nakameguro Taproom Beer School seminars. Our thematic focus this time will be the historical beer style known as Barley Wine. Two Beer School sessions will be held: an English language version on Saturday, February 26 (3:00 – 5:00 pm) and a Japanese language version on Sunday, February 27 (1:00-3:00 pm). The English language Beer School will be conducted by Baird Beer Lead Brewer, Chris Poel, and Nakameguro Taproom Beer Manager, Marco McFarren. The Japanese language Beer School will be led by Baird Brewer, Tetsuya Kataoka, and Nakameguro Taproom Manager/Chef, Akitsuke Ishikawa. Cost of participation is 3,500 yen and enrollment is limited to 30 people per session. Advanced reservations are required (email: nakameguro-tap@bairdbeer.com or call/visit the NT directly).

During the Beer School, the following Barley Wine ales will be tasted:

Baird Ganko Oyaji Barley Wine 2008
Baird Ganko Oyaji Barley Wine 2010
Baird Ganko Oyaji Barley Wine 2011
Swan Lake Barley Wine (2011 debut version)
Green Flash Barley Wine
Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine 2009
Iwate Kura Barley Wine (wine yeast fermented)
Additionally, Chef Ishikawa-san and his staff will be serving a wonderful light tasting of speciality dishes matched with various of the Barley Wine ales. This is a beer and food event not to be missed. Please contact the Nakameguro Taproom today to reserve you spot.

Cheers,

Bryan Baird

Baird Brewing Company
Numazu, Japan
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The Japan Blog List

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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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Wasabi: A Visit to Its Birthplace in Utogi at Maru Ichi Farm, Shizuoka!

Mr. Yoshihiro Mochizuki望月義弘

The other day I received a phone call from my good friend, Dominique Corby, the Chef/Owner of French Kappo Dominique Corby in Tokyo.
He told me that the French/German ARTE TV Channel was coming to Shizuoka City to make a long report on green tea (Shizuoka produces 45% of all green tea in Japan), wasabi (Shizuoka produces 80% of all organically-grown  wasabi in Japan) and the fishing industry in our Prefecture (they will visit the Fishing Harbor of Yaizu City)!
He wished to enroll my help to “prepare the ground” for the TV crew as I was not only living in Shizuoka City, but knew my wasabi well! He didn’t have to ask twice!
So on Thursday and Friday 12th and 13th, a third Musketeer, Stephane Danton of Ocharaka, a French specialist of green tea in Kanagawa Prefecture who exports green tea from Kawane Honcho in Shizuoka, joined us in a rented car and we left on a grand mission!

Utogi is also the starting point of some great treks!

We did spend the whole previous day following Stephane in tea growing farming homes and communities as the rain just made it impossible to visit the wasabi fields in altitude!
So we left early in the morning on Friday from Shizuoka City in blistering heat.
The ride is not that hard, 18 km along the Abe River and 3 more km up in altitude, what with the beautiful vistas between high steep forested mountains.
We reached Utogi at around 11:00 a.am. where Mr. Yuma Mochizuki was already waiting for us.

One of Mr. Yuma Mochizuki’s wasabi fields.

Mr. Yuma Mochizuki is the 10th generation of a celebrated wasabi growing family.
He presently owns 5 fields dispersed on in the Utogi Mountains, and is trying to buy more land in Fujinomiya City as the demand is growing and that there is simply no space left in Utogi!
Wasabi grows in the wild and its stems and leaves have been consumed as a vegetable and a natural medicinal herb for eons.
It is only in the beginning of the 17th Century that a farmer in Utogi succeeded in growing the root that is so appreciated in the world.
Roots of a small size will develop in the wild after 2 or 3 years, but they are too sour and “green” to be consumed at all. Although its cultivation is purely organic/macrobiotic in Shizuoka Prefecture it does need the help of a human hand.

Mr. Mochizuki first took us to his highest field at almost 1,000 metres (well over 300 feet) to an almost inaccessible locale among trees, steep slopes and up impossibly narrow and slippery “stairs”. But it was certainly worth it, although the TV crew will not have to climb so high.
He then took us (all the time by car as walking was not much of an option what with the heat and the distance between fields) to the field that would appear on TV.

The whole field is covered with a black mesh net to protect it from too much exposure to the sun. These nets are stretched over the field only when it is directly under the path of the sun. Some fields aren’t.
But all fields have to be protected with supplementary solid side nets to keep wild monkeys, wild boars and wild  deer away as they would leave nothing of the stems and leaves!

Wasabi seedlings have to be regularly replanted every one or two years depending upon the variety. There are axtually more than 100 varieties of them. Mr. Mochizuki grows ten of them.
The seedlings above had been replanted only one month ago.

Here is a “view” (from under the nets) of the upper part of that particular field with about one-year old wasabi plants in the background.

After 1 or 2 years the wasabi plant matures to almost one metre in height, root, stems and leaves included. Subsidiary plants will grow from the bottom of the main large root. These will be cut out to be replanted as seedlings.
The large root will be harvested for the wasabi paste. The stems will be pickled in Japanese sake white lees to become “Wasabi Tsuke”, a delicacy one can use to season his/her bowl of freshly steamed rice with or with fish and fish paste. The leaves can be pickled too, although they are eminently edible raw, steamed or cooked. Shizuoka people use them as “vessels” to taste miso paste!

Only pure mountain water flowing at a constant temperature may be used in the culture of wasabi, that is “sawa wasabi” which grown in water as opposed to “hatake wasabi”, of a very inferior variety, usually not grown in Shizuoka Prefecture. Stagnant water is out of question.
Moreover, and this is a little known fact, individual field sections and fields in general do not communicate with each other. Water comes through pipes directly connected to mountain streams to bring water to each field section. It is then diverted to side funnels which prevent any water to go back into another field!
True envirnomental/ecological and organic culture!
Apart of the bed sand and water, nothing else goes into those fields. Full stop!

Although Mr. Mochizuki was very busy preparing the big Festival to be held on Saturday and Sunday with the whole community, he kindly took the time to invite us to his enormous Japanese house (all sitting on tatami there) to share tea and sample his wasabi crop. We had the pleasure to meet his very gentle spouse and the energetic 11th generation Yuma Mochizuki/望月佑真!

Here are the best samples of 3 of the best out of the 10 varieties the Mochizuki family grows. Can you guess which is the best one?…
The one in the middle with the dark stems!

It was actually elected twice “Best wasabi in Japan”!

Now, where do you grate the stem from? The pointed end or the stem end?
Well, this is according to priorities, but usually after chopping the stems away from the root is first grated from the top as it will hotter as you come closer to its pointed extremity. This way you can control the “heat” of the root (or mix the whole later!).

Have you ever seen the cross section of a healthy root?

The traditional way to grate the wasabi root is on a wooden slat covered with shark skin.
Mr. Mochizuki explained this is now done only for the sake of tradition. Sushi and soba chefs will grate (away for the clients’ eyes) on a new and very efficient metal grater (in the background).

Look at that for extravagance!
Mr. Mochizuki was indeed so generous in his demonstration.
The TV crew will have a “field day”! LOL

MARU ICHI NOUEN/丸一置農園
(Yutogi Kodawari Club/有東木こだわり倶楽部)
Director: Yoshihiro Mochizuki/望月義弘
421-2303 Shizuoka Prefecture, Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Yutogi, 602
Tel./Fax: (81) (0)54-298-2077
E–mail: wasabiya-maruichi@vivid.ne.jp
Direct mail orders possible

RECOMMENDED RELATED SITES:
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; Jacqueline Church; The Foodonymph (in Dubai!); Alchemy, Simple Ingredients, magical Food (in Ireland!)

Please check the new postings at:
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