Although not from Shizuoka, this Okinawa delicacy regularly appears in good supermarkets such as Shizuoka JR Station Supermarket and in good Japanese restaurants.
Although called Sea Grapes (Umibudou) for their shape, it is a saweed variety!
Its Latin name is « Caulerpa lentillifera » for the purists.
Apparently they can be found in some islands an seas in South Eastern Asia and Oceania. World vegetarian and vegans, look out for them (I mean discovere and eat them! LOL)!
The whole seaweed can reach betwen 2 and 5 metres, but only the extremities including the « grapes » are consumed.
In Okinawa where they have been eaten eons, they are also called « green caviar »!
You can eat them raw of course with soy sauce or rice vinegar mixed with mustard.
In sushi, as « gunkan/maothership », they certainly make for great fun and taste!
Beware of counterfeits! No less than the JAS was recently caught selling them in August 2008!
Growing them in Japan has apparently been successful, great news for vegans and vegetarians who will find a great source of iodine and other beneficial elements!
Didi I say it? They are delicious/ »oishii »!