Tag Archives: Local Products

Weird Japan (11): Acid Milk!

A few years ago we used to see those big ads in Japan for “Homo Milk” standing for “Homogeneous Milk”. That is, until someone pointed out this might mislead some people into the wrong conclusions…

I found this truck in front of a kindergarten this morning on the way to my classroom.
After some investigation I found out (with the help of my Japanese student), that yoghurt is also called fermented milk in Japanese!
Acid Milk simply stands for Yoghurt!
Even so, it might be a good idea (but I suppose it is too late!) to think of a change of name, unless some people (again!) think of an even worse possibility! LOL

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

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 Tasting: Hana No Mai Brewery-Junmai Shiboritate Genshu

Hana no Mai Brewery in Hamamatsu City ‘ the largest Sake Brewery in Shizuoka Prefecture and export a sizeabkle amount abroad.
For quit some time they have been breweing their sake with their own ingredients. They grow their own Yamada Nishiki rice in the same city, uses Shizuoka yeats and the local water!

They produce also many limited brews such this nicely warpped “shiboritate/newly pressed” Junmai (no alcohol added) Genshu (no water added!

Rice: Shizuoka-grown Yamada Nishiki
Rice milled down to 60%
Dryness: +3
Acidity: 1.8
Alcohol: 16~17 degrees
Bottled in October 2010

Clarity: Very clear
Color: Very faint golden hue
Aroma: Fruity and asserive. banana, pineapple, custard
Body: Fluid
Taste: Strong fruity alcohol attack.
Warms back of the palate.
Dryish and strong junmai petillant.
Lingers for a short while with lots of almonds and coffee beans. Oranges, Macadamia nuts, hints of dark chocolate.
Drinks well with food with more Macadamia nuts.

Overall: Unusually strong sake for Hana No Mai Brewery.
Straightforward and fruity.
Tends to vary with food.
Best appreciated with strong taste food, although the latter might influence the taste.
A good sake for Izakayas!

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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Shizuoka Sake Tasting: Fuji-Takasago Brewery-Tokubetsu Junmai Diamond Fuji

Although the Fuji-Takasago Brewery in Fujinomiya City is part of a larger conglomerate, all the staff is from Shizuoka Prefecture and the sake there are made exclusively according to methods prevalent in the Prefecture.

Moreover, they are active in promoting sake rice grown in Shizuoka Prefecture.
In this particular case half of the rice used for this brew is Homare Fuji, a Yamada Nishii hybrid developed in Shizuoka Prefecture.

Rice: Yamada Nishiki and Shizuoka-grownHomare Fuji
Rice milled down to 60%
Dyness: +6
Alcohol: 15~16 degrees
Bottlled in November 2010

Clarity: Very clear
Color: Transparent
Aroma: Fruity: pineapple, custard. almonds
Body: Fluid
Taste: Very dry attack backed up by Junmai petillant.
Fruity: dry almonds, custard.
Quickly disappears with a soft custard note.
Very soft and easy to drink in spite of its softness.
Turns dry with food.
Goes very well with fish and sashimi.
As nurukan/lukewarm: Turns sweeter with a short strong junmai pang with a quick comeback on the drier side.
Oranges and custard.
very pleasant as a warm sake.

Overall: Very pleasant and easy to drink sake.
Goes well with any food, raw or cooked.
A sake to please everyone!
A great sake for a great party!

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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Shizuoka Sake Tasting: Shidaizumi Brewery/Organic Sake-Junmai Ginjo

Shidaizumi Brewery in Fujieda City has been conducting some very interesting experiments with organic ake rice for some time.
With Aoshima Brewery in the same city, a new movement has been started for a new and growing trend: Organic sake.

Shidaizumi Brewery hence received the Ecofarmer License from the Shizuoka Prefectureas a member of the JA Oigawa Yaizu Sake Rice Research Committee.

The Brewery used organic rice of the Yamada Nishiki strain cultivated by 11 farmers in Yaizu City:
Kohji Ohata, Toshiyuki Umehara, Masamitsu Masuda, Tatsuo Muramatsu, Teruo Matsumura, Toshiyuki Sone, Hirao Noda, Masashi Suzuki, Naomi Yamamoto, Riji Yagi and Kazuyuki Ishikawa.

Rice: Organic Yamada Nishiki all grown in Shizuoka Prefecture
Rice milled to: 55%
Yeast: NEW-5 (Shizuoka)
Dryness: +5.0
Acidity: 1.2
Alcohol: 15~16 degrees
Bottled in December 2010

Clarity: Very clear
Color: Transparent
Aroma: Bananas
Body: Fluid
Taste: Dry attack with junmai petillant.
Soft but complex.
Warms up back of the palate and ends on a dry note.
Banana, almond, apricot, memories of coffee beans and dark chocolate.
Dry melon appears with food with more nuts and dark chocolate.
Elegant, easy to drink.

Overall: Ever talked of a “feminine drink”?
A sake not easy to discern.
Ladies would be screaming for it?

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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Please check the new postings at:
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Suruga Brewery: The Newest Brewery In Shizuoka Prefecture!


Takahiro Nagashima/長島隆弘 of Nagashima Sake Shop and Daigo Hagiwara/萩原大吾 of Suruga Brewery

I finally found the occasion to pay a long delayed visit to the newest Sake Brewery In Shizuoka Prefecture (and probably in Japan!): Suruga Brewery/駿河酒造!


Tenkou/天虹/”Heaven’s Rainbow”, Suruga Brewery’s representative brand!

My good friend Takahiro Nagashima of Saketen was on hand as he had wanted to visit and deal with Suruga Brewery the very moment they arrived in Shizuoka City!


Delivery truck formerly owned by Yoshiya Brewery.

Suruga Brewery may have a short history but it has been a pretty eventful one!


Haginishiki Brewery of old times!

It all started in 2006 when some members of the family owning the Haginishiki Brewery in Shizuoka City decided to separate themselves form the old brewery to create the new one.


Chumasa sake casks from the defunct Yoshiya Brewery

So they first moved to Kakegawa City where they started brewing their own brands at the former Sogatsuru Brewery which had laid dormant for 10 years.


Hagi No Kura Brand flag

They produced brands such as Hagi nO kura, Sogatsuru and Sogatsuru-Hagi No Kura. Sogatsuru-Hagi No Kura was the official name of the “new” brewery then.


Equipment from the defunct Yoshiya Brewery

One cannot start a new sake brewery with a new license in Japan.
The only way you produce your own brand of sake is either to obtain the collaboration of another brewery or to buy the license of a brewery.


More equipment from the defunct Yoshiya Brewery

They brewed their sake under the name of Sogatsuru-Hagi No Kura Brewery until 2009.
Then in 2010, Yoshiya Brewery in Shizuoka City decided to stop their activities.


Press from Yoshiya Brewery

They then were able to buy Yoshiya Brewery’s license and call themselves Suruga Brewery.
Not only did they buy the license but also all the unsold sake and equipment from Yoshiya Brewery!


Tanks from Yoshiya Brewery

Sake brewery equipment is hard to make and obtain, and terribly expensive, so buying a defunct brewery’s equipment is quite common in Japan.


Another view from the outside

But they moved to their present address in Shizuoka City only last year.


Chumasa brand

I was personally extremely happy to learn and verify that they kept the names Yoshiya Brewery’s sake brands, Chumasa, Onigoroshi and Abekaido in their own range of labels headed by their representative brand name, Tenkou.


Entrance to the koji muro/麹室

Now, the family branch who decided to go alone also possessed land and a supermarket in Nishiwaki, Suruga Ku (hence the new name of the brewery) in Shizuoka City.
They just transformed the supermarket into a very efficient, cost-saving brewery!


Inside the koji muro

They had their own well dug 50 meters deep into the Abe River subterranean bed. This water is top-class for sake even that deep inside a city!


Modern temperature regulator

The brewmaster/杜氏 at Suruga Brewery is Mr. Kazumo Kobayashi/小林一雲 (39) of NaganoPrefecture and of the Nanbu Brewmasters School who brew the sake with his team of three “kurabito/helpers”.


New tanks/oke/桶

The present yearly production is of 350 goku/石/about 63,000 liters.


Having a peak at premium sake ready to be pressed!

The shikomi/actual brewing is done in two stages, in November~December, and then again in March~April.


Modern tanks where fermenting is being conducted

Apart of the brewing personnel who reside in the brewery only during the brewing, Suruga Brewery, Daigo Hagiwara, who represents the 3rd generation, employs 4 full staff and 2 part-timers.


It’s brewing!


One cannot escape the manual work, however modern a brewery might be!


They still keep reminding themselves of their new name!


The Abekaido Brand!


Mr. Hirai, the accountant and jack of all trades!


A treasure trove of old and very old sake!


Their best and most expensive sake!

Don’t worry, I’ll start tasting reports soon!

Suruga Brewery
422-8044 Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Suruga Ku, Nishiwaki, 923
Tel.: 054-281-1331
Fax: 054-251-1475

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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Please check the new postings at:
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Shizuoka Sake Tasting: Morimoto Brewery-Sayogoromo Tokubetsu Junmai Homare Fuji

The great thing about Morimoto Brewery is the unpredictability of its sake!
All are worth tasting again and again every year as they show different characters and idyosincrasies.

This sake made with Shizuoka-grown Homare Fuji sake rice is another proof of their originality!

Morimoto Brewery: Sayogoromo Tokubetsu Junmai Homare
Fuji

Rice: Homare Fuji (Shizuoka-grown)
Rice milled down to 60%
Alcohol: 15~16 degrees
Bottled in October 2010

Clarity: very clear
Color: transparent
Aroma: Fruity, alcohol, custard, macadamia nuts. Sweetish and pleasurable
Taste: Very dry attack backed with a little pleasant alcohol and junmai petillant.
Fruity: custard, almond nuts, greens.
Disappears quickly with notes of coffee beans and dry almonds.
Sharpish, straightforward. Devised to accompany and complement food.
Changes little with food, turns only a little drier.

Overall: A very good sake for food, especially winter heavy food.
Contribute a dry note to balance heavy food.
A fine sake on its own, too!

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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Please check the new postings at:
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Shizuoka Sake Tasting: Yamanaka Brewery-Aoitenka Junmai Hyakumangoku Rice

Yamanaka Brewery is a small, ancient and traditional brewery lost a long way south of Kakegawa Station and it is not easy to find their brews even in Shizuoka City. Luckily enough I happened to find this sake made with Hyakumangoku rice grown in Shizuoka Prefecture!

Rice: Hyakumangoku (Shizuoka-grown)
Milled down to: 65%
Dryness: +2.0
Acidity: 1.4
Yeast: Association No 1001
Alcohol: 15~16 degrees
Bottled in June 2010

Clarity: very clear
Color: transparent
Aroma: fruity, light, banana, chocolate, vanilla, hints of pineapple
Body: fluid
Taste: Dry soft attack with junmai petillant.
Complex and fruity: chocolate, coffee beans, banana.
Quickly disappears with notes of almonds.
Gets drier with food.
Easy to drink.

Overall: A sake for all seasons.
Very fruity, dry and soft.
Actually quite complex and showing more facets than expected.
A sure value!

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

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Shizuoka Sake Tasting: Senju Brewery-Junmai Ginjo Homare Fuji

Senju Brewery is the sole sake brewery in Iwata city famous for the Yamaha Company.
It’s a bit off the beaten track and their sake are not always easy to find!

Sake made with Shizuoka-grown Homare Fuji sake rice usually (if the space is available) bear a sticker with Homare Fuji written on it Japanese characters.
The label was actually designed a couple years ago by a local university student!

Senju Brewery-Junmai Ginjo Homare Fuji

Rice: Homare Fuji: 100%
Rice milled down to 55%
Alcohol: 15~16 degrees
Botteld in August 2010

Clarity: very clear
Colour: light golden
Aroma: Discreet, fruity and elegant: Pineapple, vanilla
Body: fluid
Taste: Dryish attack. Fruity. Light and complex. Dry nuts, almonds, Macadamia nuts. Disappears quickly.
Very easy to drink.
“Fleety” when chilled.
More almonds and turns sweetish on second and third cups, although drier almonds make a comeback later.
Changes little with food, although turns a little drier.

Comments: My best Junmai Ginjo with Homare Fuji Rice so far!
Complex and surprising.
Can be appreciated either chilled or at room temperature.
Will open up with more facets at the latter including memories of coffee beans typical of Shizuoka sake.
Definitely recommended to light sake lovers!

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

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Shizuoka Sake Tasting: Hamamatsu-Tenjingura Brewery/Shusseijyo Aki Agari Tokubetsu Honjozo

Hamamatsu-Tenjigura was the oldest Sake Brewery in Hamamatsu City until it started absorbing all the neighbouring cities.
It stands in Shizuoka Prefecture for having the only “Brewmistress”!

Their sake come into two distinct varieties, the ones designed for food, the others for separate tasting.
This particular sake was great with food prepared by the Missus!
It also has the merit to made with Shizuoka-grown Homare Fuji Sake Rice!
And it certainly makes for a long title!

Hamamatsu-Tenjigura Brewery: Shusseijyo Aki Agari (Autumn’s First) Tokubetsu Honjozo Homare Fuji

Rice: Homare Fuji 100%
Rice milled down to 60%
Alcohol: 15~16 degrees
Bottled in August 2010

Clarity: Very clear
Colour: Transparent
Aroma: Dry and fruity: bananas, coffee beans and coconuts
Body: Fluid
Taste: Very dry attack. Fruity: Coconuts, almonds.
Disappears quickly with a drier note with more almonds and nuts/coffee beans.
Changes little with food with an even drier note.

Overall: An eminently drinkable sake for dry sake fans.
At 60% millage simply an extravagant Tokubetsu Honjozo!
Great accompaninent to food.
Could be enjoyed in any way, chilled, room temperature or lukewarm!

It was certainly perfect with the Missus’ food: Deep-fried lotus roots chips and cheese gyoza!

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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THE JOY OF SAKE in TOKYO, November 2nd

For more details check: http://www.joyofsake.com

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

Please check the new postings at:
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Shizuoka Sake Tasting: Bandai Brewery-Junmai Ginjo Genshu Homare Fuji

Bandai Brewery is located in one of the most scenic cities of Shizuoka Prefecture, Izu Peninsula formerly called Shuzenji. The city has recently been included into a larger city called Izu City, but people and tourists certainly don’t mix the two when they say they are going to Shuzenji!
One can reach this city also famous for its hotsprings and Japanese inns by taking a local train from Mishima City.
When you go down at Shuzenji Station, don’t forget to visit the souvenir shop where you will find all the products of Bandai Brewery, including real wasabi shochu!

Bandai Brewery is one of the oldest breweries in the Prefecture and its history under other names can be traced back to the 16th Century!
Like most of the other sake breweries in Shizuoka Prefecture, it has started to use locally grown sake rice to ensure a stable output.

Rice: Homare Fuji 100% (grown in Shizuoka Prefecture)
Rice milled down to 60%
Dryness: +3
Alcohol: 16~17 degrees (genshu: no water added)
Bottled in July 2010

Clarity: very clear
Colour: faint golden hue
Aroma: Strong and fruity: banana, vanilla, hints of pineapple
Body: fluid
Taste: Strongish attack with junmai petillant and a lot of fruit. Warms back of the palate. Well-rounded backed up by pleasant alcohol.
Complex: banana, gum-candy, almonds with memories of coffee beans later.
Softens with food to turn dry again on its own.
Almonds and banana tend to follow each other alternatively.

Overall: A sake you might as well drink chilled as it is quite sweet in spite of a +3 dryness level (quite dry by Shizuoka standards).
One of those sake you can pour over an ice-cream!
Very pleasant. Tends to get drier with food.
Would very well accompany blue cheese like a Port wine, or being drunk as a digestif!

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

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Shizuoka Prefecture Agricultural High School (1)

I’ve lived 34 years in Shizuoka City, and I still remember that about 20 years ago farmers’ sons had to be dragged screaming into that venerable establishment!
How times have changed since then!

Founded in 1903 (3rd year of Taisho Era), it has been rebuilt many a time and has grown into a highly respected high school in the whole Prefecture and well beyond.

There are many reasons to that and probably not the ones you would expect.
First of all, the environment is truly propitious to study with all the greenery between the buildings. I’m not talking about the 3 ha of cultivated land! By Japanese standards, it is a large school by area standards.

Although it used to be mainly a boys’ high school, the trend has completely changed with 493 girls for 231 boys!
The introduction of three new subjects in the curriculum in 1996 is probably the most notable factor behind this change: Agricultural production, that is real farming, Environment and Food Departments.

Although plenty of history is still visible within its compounds, Shizuoka Prefectural (Public) High School is resolutely modern and extremely well-equipped, even included animal husbandry!
My relation with the high school started this year when I met some of their teachers at a party. Teachers and staff on the whole are unusually warm, easy-going but firm on etiquette, smiling and most of all pro-active. Pro-active? I mean that these ladies and gents are not afraid to show everyone that they themselves are keen to learn!

Flowers!

I had already visited the school quite a few times when the Shizuoka Prefecture-run Agricultural Homepage, AGRIGRAPH (6 languages) sent me on a series of reports.
Now, visiting the school compounds is like exploring a farming enterprise!

Tomatoes and other vegetables.

The greenhouses might be squarer and higher bt the techniques and technology are the same!
Actually Shizuoka has 3 Prefectural High Schools, a sure sign of the times when people are getting more aware of their food and environment!

A spinach variety.

Akihime strawberries. Looking forward to another visit soon! LOL

Cucumbers

Actually the students either take their produce back home or sell it. In the latter case, all the proceeds go to the Prefecture!

Tomatoes again!

This particular vegetable bed is allotted to 41 students.

Except for one, they all work in pairs on their alotted bed with their names written on small poles in front of each culture!

Plenty of tools for plenty of students!

Don’t they look neat!

Dressed as real farmers, aren’t we!

Teachers there are happily obeyed and listened to! I never heard a misplaced word by any lecturer, a rarity in Japanese high schools!

Daikon and spinach seeds.

Would you believe that one of those two little ladies greeted me not only in English, but also in French!

Don’t forget this is green tea land, as Shizuoka Prefecture produces no less than 45% of all green tea in Japan!

What strikes most in this establishment is that almost every available space is filled with greenery and flowers, a luxury in space-cramped Japan!

I had to pay a long visit to my new friend’s, Mr. Ishida, class and school club. Mr. Ishida teaches solely the art of making bread (and some cakes)! That particular class is an elective subject. There are only 33 students (1st to 3rd year) but the learn how to make 33 different breads during the whole 3-year cursus!

The present subject was wholegrain wheat bread!
Fermented no less than 3 times!

Girls from another class who came to collect their chocolate cakes!

Shaping the small loaves for the oven.
Quite a few boys among the students!

The mini loaves coated with wholegrain flour before being baked at 210 degrees Celsius!
I went back home with half a dozen of them (plus a baguette and chocolate cake!)!

The chocolate cakes!

Absolutely yummy!

A sample line of the breads created by the students.
Incidentally Shizuoka Prefecture Agricultural School is famous all over Japan for taking most prizes at the Annual Japan High School National Bread Contest!

Attentive, aren’t they?

Well, this is the first of a series of articles!
Look forward to the next ones!

Shizuoka Prefecture Agricultural High School
420-0812 Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Furusho, 3-1-1
Tel: 054-261-0111/0113
Fax: 054-264-2226
Homepage: http://www.shizuoka-c.ed.jp/shizuoka-ah/ (Japanese)

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!); Curious Foodie; Mr. Foodie (London/UK)

Please check the new postings at:
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Food Humor: Acid Milk!

A few years ago we used to see those big ads in Japan for “Homo Milk” standing for “Homogeneous Milk”. That is, until someone pointed out this might mislead some people into the wrong conclusions…

I found this truck in front of a kindergarten this morning on the way to my classroom.
After some investigation I found out (with the help of my Japanese student), that yoghurt is also called fermented milk in Japanese!
Acid Milk simply stands for Yoghurt!
Even so, it might be a good idea (but I suppose it is too late!) to think of a change of name, unless some people (again!) think of an even worse possibility! LOL

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

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日本語のブログ
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Shizuoka Sake Tasting: Yamanaka Brewery-Aoitenka Toubinkoi Muroka Junmai Ginjo

Yamanaka Brewery i not easy to access as it is far away from Kakegawa Station near the sea and one can reach only by bus, car and bicycle (not from Shizuoka City for the latter!)!
It is a fairly small establishement, although very well known, the more for it that its neighbour is the famous soy sauce brewery, Sakae!

This particular bottle was extravagant for many reasons.
The decoration was very original in the sense that the label on the bottle is actually made of cloth!
Coming into a great box with plenty of explanations, both the bottle and box are worth a collector’s attention.

The contents were also absolutely extravagant:
The real title is Yamanaka Shuzo/Yamanak Brewery, Aointenka (sake name), Tobinkoi (sake extracted drop by drop by being left hanging into sacke inside the tank and into a large glass jar), Muroka (unfiltered), Junami Ginjo (high premium with no alcohol added), Genshu (no pure water added), the whole meaning a completely untouched sake brew!

Now for the details:
Rice: Yamada Nishiki from Hyogo Prefecture
Rice milled down to 48% (high dai ginjo level!)
Yeast: 1401
Dryness: +2
Acidity: 1.7
Alcohol: 16~17 gegrees
Bottled in July 2010

Clarity: very clear
Colour: transparent
Aroma: Slghtly dry and very fruity. Almonds, coconuts with notes of pineapple. Extremely pleasant
Body: fluid
Taste: Very complex and fruity. Extremely pleasant and sophisticated.
Dry and fruity. Junmai petillant spreading over the back of the palate. Lingers on only a little.
Dry almonds, pineapple with hints of banana and vanilla.
Finishes on a very dry almond note, but turns a little sweetish with food. Later on reveals faint notes of dark chocolate and cofee beans.

Overall: Simply extravagant, although its pricetag is ridiculously cheap (that is for that quality!). The rice millage would be of another plane elsewhere!
Sophisticated, lmost “feminine” in spite of high alcohol content.
Best appreciated lightly chilled or at room temperature.
Personally the best aperitif one can come across!

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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日本語のブログ
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Japanese Gastronomic BBQ in Mariko

Suruga Beef!

BBQ’s are probably the most common way of enjoying great company with great food and great drinks in the whole world even if you are a teetoller or vegan!

And Japan is no exception!
Now, BBQ’s in Shizuoka can turn into extravagant affairs if they organised by local chefs, sake brewmasters and farmers using only local ingredients!

To make a long story shorter, we found about 30 of us last Sunday noon in Mariko, a site famed as one of the stages along the old Tokaido Road used by travellers in the Edo Era.
Being organized by Japanese, it was all very precise and delightful.
For 60 US $ (including drinks) per adult a BBQ site (20 US $ included in the total fee) was rented just beside Sanko/山幸 restaurant up in the nearby mountain.

Sanko Restaurant entrance. Very Japanese!

Beautiful flower arrangement/Ikebana/活花 at the entrance!

Side entrance to the inner garden and facilities (important with all those drinks!)

The event had been organised under the auspices of Nagashima Sake Store in Shizuoka and its owner, Takahiro Nagashima/長島隆博 (far right).

All the sake had been brewed by Brewmaster Takashima San/高島さん of Takashima Brewery in Numazu City. Incidentally that gentleman ,even with a glass in hand, would not be easily overwhelmed as he holds a 5th dan (Black Belt) in judo!

All the sake served was clearly advertized!

The Japanese, even during a BBQ, once they are seated, move only to get their food or drinks (unless a willing lady or subaltern is on hand!), but being an uncouth foreigner, I kept moving around! LOL

Kenya Yoshimura/吉村健哉, owner/chef at Uzu Restaurant, Shizuoka City, needed a baseball horn to make himself heard when announcing the festivities!

Now for the vegetarians and vegans: all these vegetables had been prepared beforehand by Kenya Yoshimura with organic vegetables coming from Matsuki Biofarm in Shibakawa Cho at the foot of Mount Fuji!

Other carefully chosen vegetables had been provided by Takeo Shimura/志村剛生, chef/owner of Narusei Tempura Restaurant in Shizuoka City!

Now for the beef!
All Suruga Beef/駿河牛, carefully chosen and provided by Shigeharu Sano/佐野茂治, chef/owner at Kamoshibito Restaurant in Shizuoka City.
This particular beef, as good as Kobe beef, comes from from animals exclusively bred in Shizuoka Prefecture!

Da the Men! Shigeharu Sano and Kenya Yoshimura!

Shigeharu Sano at work!

Don’t you want to board the next bullet train to Shizuoka City!

Or the next plane? LOL

This being Japan, all is cut beforehand for you!

Now, whatever the occasion, the Japanese will go not without their soup!
This very soup was extravagant as prepared (with other things, pork liver in particular!) by Yuusuke Toozaki/登崎雄介, chef/owner at Hana Oto Restaurant in Shizuoka City.
It was made with miso, vegetables and mangenton/万言豚 pork, exclusively raised in Shizuoka Prefecture!

Now, this gentleman, Toshiaki Horie/堀江利彰 came all the way from the Amagi Mountains/天城山 in Izu Peninsula/伊豆半島 to bring Shamo Chicken/軍鶏 he bred himself until 4-month old with the best feed and environment available in his farm.
Enormous chicken! Look at that neck!

Not only he brought them, but went through the cutting demonstration no less than 3 times!

Although revellers kept at the safe distance lots of questions were asked and most amiably answered!

That knife was flying, I can tell you!

Et voila! All cut and ready. All in less than 3 minutes!

Oh, I forgot to tell you:
All the meat, beef, pork, chicken and some vegetables were exclusively grilled over charcoal!

Now, are you convinced than a mere BBQ can be called gastronomic?

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!); Curious Foodie; Mr. Foodie (London/UK)

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