Agricultural Products: Bio Jam

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As I visited Yui City (soon to become part of Shimizu Ku), a city famous for its “Sakura Ebi”, I discovered some interesting local agricultural products.
More and more famers/growers in this Prefecture choose not to use any additives, colorings, preservatives, sucrose or whatever finishing in “tin” or “peptin”.
One of them at Matsunaga Koen, Yaizu City, concocts great jams with local fruit and no artificial ferilizers or man-made additives as mentioned above.
I chose two particular ones among his array:
(as above) Lemon jam:
Name: Marugoto Marmelade Lemon
Ingredients: lemon, sugar
Weight: 200g
Bottled: August, 17th, 2007

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Great natural colour. True lemon taste. Acidity as expected (remember, this lemon!).
Perfect on toast this morning!
Would make great ingredient in sauces or even dressing!

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Biwa (Loquat) jam:
Name: Tezukuri Jam Biwa
Ingredients: loquat, sugar, lemon
Weight: 200g
Bottled August, 10th, 2007

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Beautiful dark orange colour. True loquat taste. Sweet, but not overwhelming.
Great on its own, with cheese, cheese cake. Could also be added to sauces. Plenty of possibilities!

Matsunaga Koen (Matsunaga Kyoko)
Shizuoka Ken, Ihara Gun, Yui cho, Nishi Kurasawa, 98-1
Tel.: 054-3752297

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Shizuoka Izakaya: Tonami

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Tonami originally opened in 2002 but was bought by the present couple owners mid 2005, for the better, I must say.
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The name “Tonami” means “Rabbit Wave”, and for rabbit lovers, the place is simply full of them!
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Located in the middle of the Shizuoka “Gourmet Town” Tokiwa-cho district, it is a very welcoming place where individuals or small parties of up to four will comfortably sit. I noticed that customers greatly vary in age, always a good sign.
As in any such establishments, sashimi is a good criterion for judging the quality of the fare: the sanma (saury, mackerel pike) was excellent and very fresh (they serve us the bones and head deep-fried later) and very tasty.
They do have original recipes and unusual morsels. I would like to recommend the following:
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(in above order) Deep-fried avocado and scallops Spring rolls, deep-fried whalemeat (yes, you red it!) and kushiyaki (Japanes brochettes)
They also serve a mean Japanese-style tripes curry!
All at reasonable prices for such an establishment.
As for drinks, the usual, but they also serve an excellent Shizuoka Sake, namely Isojiman Honjozo (Yaizu City): no need for dessert!
A place certainly worth a second visit!

Tonami
Shizuoka City, Aoi-Ku, Tokiwa-Cho, 2-9, K Montania Bldg., 1F
Tel.: 054-2512012
Business hours: 17:00~24:00 (weekdays), 15:00~22:00 (Sundays)
Closed on Tuesdays

Shizuoka Izakaya: Kobayashi

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If you are hungry and thirsty, on your way to the station after a long day’s work, but not in a hurry, Kobayashi is certainly one of the most natural places to visit.
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It stands at a corner just before the back entrance of parco Dept. Store, only a few minutes walk from your train (or your next destination?). The present (young) generation looking after the establishment is the third one following the steps of its founder in the 1950’s.
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Both officionados of “oden” (fish paste balls and others slowly cooked in Japanese broth) and “kushiyaki” (japanese brochettes) will findtheir favourite morsels there. Note that the “oden” are very much “Shizuoka-style”, that cooked a long time and comparatively of daek colour, although the broth was lighter than in some other typical “odenya”
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As for drinks, local patrons enjoy the usual fare, but I had the pleasure to discover a local sake on sale, Sugunishiki Honjozo (Sugii Brewery, Fujieda City). If you on your way back to another Prefecture, make sure to taste it!

Kobayashi
Shizuoka City, Aoi-Ku, Koya Machi, 5-1
Tel.: 054-2524932
Business hours: 17:00~22:00
Closed on Sundays

Umeshu by Shidaizumi Brewery

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I already the occasion to taste this new umeshu (“Japanese plum liqueur”) when I visited Shidaizumi Brewery in Fujieda City last August before it was put on sale. But due to a hectic schedule before leaving fro France, I did not have the time to make any report.
To amend for the hiatus, I bought and tasted a bottlelast night!

This umeshu is made with sake and ume/Japanese local plum extract, making it quite extravagant in comparison to what is usually marketed as “umeshu”)
The alcohol contenet is not so high at only 11 degrees.

Clarity: very clear

Colour: light orang-pink

Aroma: dry plums, drier than expected.

Body: light and smooth.

Taste: Complex and elegant. Drier than expected. Easy to drink and calling for a second and a third sip. Welcome acidity lingering over the palate

Overall: a great aperitif or refreshing drink on a hot summer day/night. Elegant. Adult. Deserves to stand beside European first-class fruit alcohols. Best drunk chilled or on the rocks.

Shizuoka Beer 3-1: Wind Valley Beer/Kaze No Tani no Biru-Weizen

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Wind Valley Beer/Kaze no Tani no Biru (風の谷のビール)Weizen is brewed by a Company located at the foot of Mount Fuji. It sells various kinds of products from organic fruit juices to dairies.
Its beers are sold under the label Oratche.

This particular beer is an organic beer using 50% of wheat malt.
It is unfiltered and should be kept in a cold environment because of its live yeast.

Clarity: smoky (unfiltered)
Colour: golden
Foam: light, tends to disappear quickly
Aroma: light, oranges, yeast, banana, cloves
Taste:: very yeasty taste, dry withe a strong accent on cloves.

Overall: A beer very remiscent of German Weizen. Refreshing and light with a sharp character, but does not linger too long. Would go very with cheese and cold meats.

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Simple Recipes: Dragonfruit Shoots Tempura

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The Missus came back home last night with an unsual “vegetable”: Dragon Fruit Shoots.
The Japanese have come with the best idea to sample any new vegetable: tempura!
Technically speaking it originated in Portugal whose sailors introduced it to Japan a few centuries ago. The word itself is Portuguese.
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My better (worse?) cut them into halves and prepared batter. She favours her own style, heavier than the Japanese, but lighter than the European/American “fritters”
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She took the opportunity to add some other tempura made with shrimps and goya.
Served with ma-cha tea powder and salt mixed with sakura/cherry blossoms powder, it just turned out perfect with beer and sake!

Shizuoka Beer 2-1: Bayern Meister Beer-Prinz

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Bayern Maeister Beer Co. Ltd. is based in Fujinomiya City and has employed for some while a Master Brewer from Southern Germany called Stefan Rage who is deservedly making his own name in the Shizuoka microbrewery world.

“Prinz” is the first brew I had the pleasure to taste.

Product name: Prinz Draught beer
Contents volume: 330 ml
Alcohol: 5.5%
Ingredients: malt, hops and live yeast all imported from Southern Germany.

Clarity: clear and clean
Colour: Golden
Foam: solid and regular
Aroma: both light and sharpish/grapefruit-Oranges
Taste: Light, easy to drink. Welcome acidity/light oranges and grapefruit. Lingers on the palate.

Comments: Refreshing and reassuringly solid.Goes very well with food. A good summer drink.

Bayern Meister Beer Co. Ltd.
Shizuoka Prefecture, Fujinomiya City, Kami-Ideji, Kawaharatan, 1254-1
Tel.: 0544-443311