Tag Archives: Organic

Organic Tea First Harvest with Marufuku Tea Factory!

Bunji and Asami Itoh! 伊藤文治さん,麻実さん!

This year’s green tea in Shizuoka, although of high quality, grew very slowly due to an unusually cold winter and spring, but I finally had the pleasure to experience my first ichiban (first of the year) green tea picking!

We drove all the way along off the beaten tracks thoroughfares just wide enough for a mini car up to an altitude of 8oo meters in Hirano along the Abe River and not far from the famous wasabi fields of Utogi.

Some tea fields can be found on steeper slopes, but this was already pretty steep!

Mr. Bunji Itoh has been growing exclusively organic green tea on these particular slopes for some time and plans to expand these fields. You know that no chemicals are used when you discover the luxuriant moss on the path!

The first leaves were just long enough to be picked!

These are the most valuable tea leaves of the year!

When you pick them by hand you twist off the stems just under the second leaf. If it does not snap between your thumb and index, cut the stem just under the first leaves!

This was my personal harvest in my hip tea basket with some wild mountain vegetables found around the rows!

These leaves are exceptionally delicious as tempura (Pissenlit Restaurant in Shizuoka City!)!

While I was picking some of the best leaves by hand Mr. Itoh’s employees were “shaving” the rows with curved cutting machines like this one. That is the reason behind the peculiar shape of Japanese tea tree rows!

You have to work in teams of three as one has to hold the bag for the leaves being cut by the other two holding the cutter walking between the rows!

Tea trees rows have to be “shaved” in two steps, along the left and then back along the right!

They let me help with (only) one row. Not easy work as you have to walk backwards. I didn’t too badly as they let me do it until the end of the (long) row!

On the way back Mr. Itoh showed me the house of Oomura Family which has been growing tea there since the Edo Era!

They have grown green tea in this same spot for hundreds of years!

Finding ourselves brought back in time!

Very valuable carps up in the mountains!

The whole (privately-owned) property has been registered as Cultural Asset!

Mr. Itoh finally took me to a local tea-processing factory he is contracted with to show me how these organic leaves are treated, not so much as for tea, but as edible organic tea leaves.
The fresh leaves are first steamed.

They are then dried.

And next they will be frozen to be sold to restaurants!

Mr. Itoh also has a field of organic of Japanese plum trees. I will go there soon to pick ume/plums to make umeshu!

Marufuku Seishya Co. Ltd. (Mr. Bunji Itoh)
Shizuoka Shi, Aoi Ku, Wakamatsu Cho, 25
Tel.: 054-271-2011
Fax: 054-271-2010

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Miso: The Basics (updated)

MISO-1
Three types of miso

Since Sissi and her many friends seem to be more than interested in miso I thought it was grand time i published again this old article of mine, hoping it will prove useful to many

Miso (みそ or 味噌) is a traditional Japanese seasoning produced by fermenting rice, barley and/or soybeans, with salt and a yeast called kōjikin (麹菌) in Japanese, the most typical miso being made with soybeans. The result is a thick paste used for sauces and spreads, pickling vegetables or meats, and mixing with dashi soup stock to serve as miso soup, Misoshiru (味噌汁), a Japanese culinary staple. High in protein and rich in vitamins and minerals, miso played an important nutritional role in feudal Japan. Miso is still very widely used in Japan, both in traditional and modern cooking, and has been gaining world-wide interest. Miso is typically salty, but its flavor and aroma depend on various factors in the ingredients and fermentation process. Different varieties of miso have been described as salty, sweet, earthy, fruity, and savory, and there is an extremely wide variety of miso available.

MISO-8
Miso from Nagano Prefecture on sale in Kyoto

The predecessor of miso originated in China during the 3rd century BC or earlier, and it is probable that this, together with related fermented soy-based foods, was introduced to Japan at the same time as Buddhism in the 6th century AD.This fermented food was called “Shi”.
Until the Muromachi era, miso was made without grinding the soybeans, somewhat like natto. In the Kamakura era, a common meal was made up of a bowl of rice, some dried fish, a serving of miso, and a fresh vegetable. In the Muromachi era, Buddhist monks discovered that soybeans could be ground into a paste, spawning new cooking methods where miso was used to flavor other foods.
In the Sengoku (Feudal) era, miso was useful as a military provision and precious nourishing food for soldiers.
During the Edo period miso was also called hishio and kuki.
In the modern era, the industrial method of producing miso in large quantities was established and it became rare to make miso at home, although miso made in farms has suddenly become fashinable as a health food.

MISO-2
Miso being fermented inside a large wood cask

VARIETIES (FLAVOUR)

The taste, aroma, texture, and appearance of any specific miso vary with the miso type as well as the region and season for which the miso was made. The ingredients used, temperature and duration of fermentation, salt content, variety of kōji/yeast, and fermenting vessel all contribute. The most common flavor categories of soy miso are:

Shiromiso, “white miso”
Akamiso, “red miso”

MISO-5
Kuromiso, “black miso”

Hatchomiso
White and red (shiromiso and akamiso) are the basic types of miso available in all of Japan as well as overseas. Different varieties are preferred in particular regions. For example, in the eastern Kantō region that includes Tokyo, the lighter shiromiso is popular, while in the western Kansai region encompassing Osaka, Kyoto, and Kobe, darker brownish hatchomiso is preferred, and akamiso is favored in the Tokai area.

MISO-4
Akamiso and shiromiso

VARIETIES (INGREDIENTS)

The raw materials used to produce miso may include any mix of soybeans, barley, rice, buckwheat, millet, rye, wheat, hemp seed, and cycad, among others. Lately, producers in other countries have also begun selling miso made from chick peas, corn, azuki beans, amaranth, and quinoa. Fermentation time ranges from as little as five days to several years. The wide variety of Japanese miso is difficult to classify, but is commonly done by grain type, color, taste, and background.

MISO-6
Kinzanji/Kinzan Temple (金山寺味噌) miso

mugi (麦): barley
tsubu (粒): whole wheat/barley
aka (赤): red, made with rice koji and soybeans, medium flavor, most widely used in Japan
Hatchō (八丁): aged, strongest flavor, used mostly in Central Japan
shiro (白): rice, sweet white, fresh
shinshu (信州): rice, brown color
genmai (玄米): brown rice
awase (合わせ): layered, typically in supermarket
moromi (醪): chunky, healthy (kōji/yeast is unblended)
nanban (南蛮): chunky, sweet, for dipping sauce
inaka (田舎): farmstyle
taima (大麻): hemp seed
sobamugi (蕎麦): buckwheat
hadakamugi (裸麦): rye
meri (蘇鉄): made from cycad pulp, Buddhist temple diet
gokoku (五穀): “5 grains”: soy, wheat, barley, proso millet, and foxtail millet
Many regions have their own specific variation on the miso standard. For example, the soybeans used in Sendai miso are much more coarsely mashed than in normal soy miso.

Miso made with rice (including shinshu and shiro miso) is called kome (rice) miso (米味噌).

MISO-3
Miso sold in plastic container.

STORAGE AND PREPARATION

Miso typically comes as a paste in a sealed container, and should be kept refrigerated after opening. It can be eaten raw, and cooking changes its flavor and nutritional value; when used in miso soup, most cooks do not allow the miso to come to a full boil. Some people, especially those outside of Japan, go so far as to only add miso to preparations after they have cooled, to preserve the biological activity of the kōjikin/fermented yeast. Since miso and soy foods play a large role in the Japanese diet, there are a variety of cooked miso dishes as well.

MISO-7
Grilled miso seasoned rice balls and miso soup

MISO AS FOOD

Miso is a part of many Japanese-style meals. It most commonly appears as the main ingredient of miso soup, which is eaten daily by much of the Japanese population. The pairing of plain rice and miso soup is considered a fundamental unit of Japanese cuisine. This pairing is the basis of a traditional Japanese breakfast, although more and more Japanese in big towns eat European style as opposed to people living in the country.

MISO-9
Cucmber pickled in “gold miso”

Miso is used in many other types of soup and souplike dishes, including some kinds of ramen, udon, nabe, and imoni. Generally, such dishes have the title miso prepended to their name (for example, miso-udon), and have a heavier, earthier flavor and aroma compared to other Japanese soups that are not miso-based.

MISO-10
Fresh cucumber served with miso and sesame seeds

Many traditional confections use a sweet, thick miso glaze, such as mochidango. Miso glazed treats are strongly associated with Japanese festivals, although they are available year-round at supermarkets. The consistency of miso glaze ranges from thick and taffy-like to thin and drippy.

Soy miso is used to make a type of pickle called “misozuke” (味噌漬け). These pickles are typically made from cucumber, daikon, hakusai/Chinese cabbage, or eggplant/aubergine, and are sweeter and less salty than the standard Japanese salt pickle. Barley miso, or nukamiso (糠味噌), is used to make another type of pickle. Nukamiso is a fermented product, and considered a type of miso in Japanese culture and linguistics, but does not contain soy, and so is functionally quite different. Like soy miso, nukamiso is fermented using kōji mold.

Other foods with miso as an ingredient include:

dengaku (charcoal-grilled miso covered tofu)
yakimochi (charcoal-grilled miso covered mochi)
miso braised vegetables or mushrooms
marinades: fish or chicken can be marinated in miso and sake overnight to be grilled.
corn on the cob in Japan is usually coated with shiro miso, wrapped in foil and grilled.
sauces: sauces like misoyaki (a variant on teriyaki) are common.

NUTRITION AND HEALTH

The nutritional benefits of miso have been widely touted by commercial enterprises and home cooks alike. However, claims that miso is high in vitamin B12 have been contradicted in some studies. Part of the confusion may stem from the fact that some soy products are high in B vitamins (though not necessarily B12), and some, such as soy milk, may be fortified with vitamin B12. Some, especially proponents of healthy eating, suggest that miso can help treat radiation sickness, citing cases in Japan and Russia where people have been fed miso after the Chernobyl nuclear disaster and the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Also some experts suggest that miso is a source of Lactobacillus acidophilus or Lecithin which is a kind of phospholipid caused by fermentation is effective in the prevention of high blood pressure. Miso contains salt. A small amount is essential to animal life but most scientists believe an excess of it can cause a variety of health problems.

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French Cuisine: Harmony in Iwata City

Service: easy-going and friendly
Facilities: good general cleanliness
Prices: reasonable
Strong points: Most of ingredients are local!
Completely non-smoking!

Do not be misled by the somewhat passé look of this Restaurant and Souvenir Shop along a busy thoroughfare and its interior of a past gone.

The decor might be out of date but the food is alive and worth regular visits!

The sign is not easy to miss in any case!

A retro look?
Maybe, but Chef Hiroyuki Adachi is on a mission: he has devoted his life and craft to the local producers, breeders and fishermen and endeavored to make them known to all through his exclusively seasonal menus he offers his guests whoever they are!

Each month witnesses a different lunch course titled according to the flavor or ingredient of the season/month!

Mr. Adachi has little problem finding his ingredients, surrounded as he is by arguably the richest garden in Japan in Iwata City!

A quick walk in the vicinity after lunch (before the next interview) certainly revealed how good food was close by!

Many farmers offer on-field lessons!

Strawberry seedlings being prepared for the next season!

Chef Adachi and a young farmer, Takeshi Ichikawa (my next interview), who supplies sweet corn (beautiful raw!) to the restaurant!

As this was my first visit I opted for the “mini-dinner course lunch” to get a good idea of the food offered at Harmony!

Enormous appetizers plate!

Semi-dried tomato in olive oil and its essence jelly in the small glass beside it!

In between local vegetables octopus and local seared black bass.

Local vegetables and fruit!

The seared black bass from Hamanako!

A very tasty soup of local seasonal vegetables!

Home-made matcha and turmeric bread!

Local “tai”/red grouper in Southern French style with its local vegetables!

For a closer look!

Beautiful local vegetables!

From another angle!
The “white flower” is actually a lily bulb! Delicious!

Enshyuu Mikawa Beef Filet!

Beautiful and so tender steak! Extravagant in Japan!

The steamed local vegetables. Great with the beef sauce!

Very healthy rice mixed with black rice!

And now the local dessert plate!

Natsu mikan orange blanc mange and strawberries!

Japanese-style matcha roll cake!

Now, why is Mr. Adachi’s creme brulee so famous?
The secret lies under the cream!

Iwata tomato sherbet!
Now, this is a creation!

I hope you understand why I’m planning to travel all the way from Shizuoka City again (1 hour by train!)!

HARMONY
438-0831, Shizuoka Ken, Iwata Shi, Kamishinya, 499-1
Tel.: 0538-21-1511
Fax: 0538-21-1515
Business hours: 11:00~14:00, 17:00~21:00
Closed on Mondays, 1st & 3rd Tuesdays
Big parking available
HOMEPAGE

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French Cuisine at Pissenlit: Suruga Beef, Hirokawa Organic Vegetables and Fukumaru Green Tea Tempura!

Service: excellent and very friendly
Facilities: great washroom, great cleanliness overall
Prices: reasonable, good value.
Strong points: Interesting wine list. Great use of local products.
no-smoking-logoentirely non-smoking!

This superb dish conceived by Chef Tooru Arima at Pissenlit in Shizuoka City has a history I actively contributed to!
To make a long story short I spent this morning high in the mountains in Hirano picking the first tea of the year in the fields of Marufuku Tea Factory (details at the end of this article) and I was really starving when I came back downtown at noon. I decided to visit Pissenlit as I had a couple of ideas in mind!

I did enjoy a full meal before and after the main dish but allow me to concentrate on the latter as it is a true Shizuoka Gastronomic experience!
First the beef is fillet of local Suruga Beef raised in Aoi Ku, Shizuoka City. It was prepared as a classic French steak with Madeira sauce!

Except for the tea leaves the vegetables come from Hirokawa Organic Garden in Mishima City.
As usual Mr. Arima steamed them to perfection preserving their taste, flavor and crispiness!

Marufuku Tea Factory Organic Tea Fields in Hirano, Aoi Ku, Shizuoka City!

Mr. Bunji Itoh grows among others two varieties of green tea organically in altitude (over 800 m.!) up in the mountains of Hirano, Aoi Ku, Shizuoka City near the source of the Abe River.
I joined him and his daughter, Asami, to pick up the first leaves of the year (Ichi ban cha)!
While workers were busy cutting the rest of the fields I was invited to hand-pick my own new tea leaves, a great honor if there is one!

I knew how to choose and pick the tender tips like the one shown above.
I found myself with a whole bunch of them. By bunch I mean a bag full of them!
The ideal idea came to my mind (sometimes my brain works in the right direction…): I brought them to Mr. Arima at Pissenlit who was more than glad to obtain the first leaves of the year of authentic organic tea from his own city. There are all kinds of ways that a great chef can accommodate them but probably the best one is tempura!

Tender new tea leaves as tempura is not only a gastronomic experience but you can imagine how difficult it is to get the opportunity to taste such a delicacy reserved to the first day of the first crop of the year!
I very much doubt you can be served it even in the best restaurant in Tokyo!

What’s going to be next…? I already have a clear idea! LOL

PISSENLIT
420-0839 Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Takajo, 2-3-4
Tel.: 054-270-8768
Fax: 054-627-3868
Business hours: 11:30~14:30; 17:00~22:00
Closed on Tuesdays and Sunday evening
Homepage (Japanese)
Credit Cards OK

Marufuku Seishya Co. Ltd. (Mr. Bunji Itoh)
Shizuoka Shi, Aoi Ku, Wakamatsu Cho, 25
Tel.: 054-271-2011
Fax: 054-271-2010

RECOMMENDED RELATED SITES:
With a Glass,
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!

Kiwi Fruits & Agritourism at Kiwifruit Country Japan

Masatoshi and Tsuneyo Hirano/平野正俊・常代 at Kiwifruit Country Japan in Kakegawa City.

“Let’s introduce the greatness of the nature, importance of agriculture and taste of the real thing! Let’s learn together! Discover the valuable life!” is Masatoshi Hirano’s motto, in his own words, for farm management.

Entrance to Kiwifruit Country Japan

Mr. Masatoshi Hirano (and his two sons, too) speaks fluent English, because he spent a long time researching about citruses in four different States in the US before starting agriculture at his parents’ farm. His family has seen a lot of history go by as he is the 19th generation!
Nonetheless, as a youngster he understood that tradition was one thing, and good farming management another.

Kiwi fruits across the parking lot!

This led him, originally against his parents’ disagreement, to enlarge the family enterprise and introduce new cultures.
One was that of kiwifruit which he started from a single spoonful of seeds he had brought back home!

Agritour programs in front of the shop.

Then for the last 21 years he has expanded the cultivated land to include the largest Kiwifruit Agritour Orchard in Japan, tea, organic citruses, organic vegetables, organic edible flowers, space for domestic animals (as food and pets), self service stand direct sale shop, a whole forest for kids and adults alike, a BBQ area capable of welcoming 500 guests, a campsite, onsite field classes for children and students and agritours for Japanese and foreigners.

Baby goat.

A pet sheep.

A pet goat.

Pet rabbits.

Mischievous baby goats!

A baby pig, not a wild boar!

A peacock (there are two varieties, actually!)!

Kiwifruits, according to varieties (he grows 80 of them and conduct experiments on 500!), are either grown in an enormous greenhouse (which also serves as an BBQ and event space) or in open-air fields.

This kiwifruit tree wood is actually very popular with local artists!
Another great way to recycle nature!

Greenhouse-grown kiwifruit on display for practical information!

Kiwifruit varieties ready for sampling!

One can study about kiwifruits in Japanese and English while eating them!

Chickens for their meat and eggs.

More chickens!

And even more chickens! These are pets kept together with rabbits!

And more chickens. These always seem hungry!

The whole range of edible organic flowers and mountain vegetables/sansai/山菜 grown on site!

Organic shiitake.

Organic pumpkins!

Peaceful sheep.

Organic mandarines/mikan/蜜柑.

The grass and plants are left to grow naturally from the soil mixed with natural compost.

Another variety of organic mandarines.

Tea fields.

Vast open-fields of kiwifruit trees. Would you believe that Mr. Hirano pollinate them all by hand? A back and shoulder-breaking work!

A view inside the very old forest. It is actually crossed by a centuries-old path!

Small concerts are organized in that space inside the forest!

A kids’ heaven!

Look at these air-breathing roots. Now, this is an ancient tree!

100% organic potatoes sold at the shop!

Kiwis on sale at the shop.
One can eat as many as one wants onsite for a fee!

All kinds of varieties and packaged kiwifruit can be sent all over Japan directly from the shop!

These are the ones I took back hoe!

Obviously this is only the first of a long series of articles as the place will have to be visited every month by your servant or reporters from Agrigraph!

Kiwi Fruit Country/Experience & Learning Farm
Masatoshi & Tsuneyo Hirano
436-0012 Shizuoka Ken, Kakegwa Shi, Kamiuchida, 2040
Tel.: 0537-22-6543
Fax: 0537-22-7498
Free dial: 0120-014791
E-mail: wbs02626@mail.wbs.ne.jp
HOMEPAGE(Japanese, but phone calls can be taken in English)

Business hours: 09:00~17:00
BBQ (even by rainy weather) and tours possible on reservation.

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

Healthy Oranges in a Healthy Environment: Shiratori Orchard in Izu Peninsula

Healthy Oranges in a Healthy Environment!

Last Monday I somehow managed to get a full day free (and I certainly needed the whole of it!). My good friend Yasushi Imaizumi/今泉康 drove me on a grand tour of the Eastern part of Shizuoka Prefecture.
Our destination was a remote place deep south the eastern coast of Izu Peninsula.

The day was just gorgeous!
Absolutely blue skies and mild temperatures.
We just couldn’t help taking pictures of snow-capped Mount Fuji on the way!

It took us (Yasushi) three hours to drive down to Shirata/白田, near the minuscule fishing harbor of Inatori/稲取, in Kamo Gun/賀茂郡, only a short distance from Shimoda City/下田市.

There, we discovered the oranges orchard of the Shiratori Family with an incredible view over the ocean. By clear weather you can see as far as Oshima/大島 Island!

Miyoko Shiratori/白鳥美代子, a live-in student, her daughter-in-law, Hiroko/弘子, her son, Takehisa/岳寿 and her husband, Ryuusaku/龍作.

Mr. Ryuusaku Shiratori/白鳥龍作 (82), was a seventh generation of growers of rice, tea, oranges and wasabi back in Shizuoka City until he decided to move there 40 years ago to become the first of three generations of orange growers.
This must have been the right choice as he and his wife Miyoko/美代子 could pose in any magazines as models of incredibly healthy longevity!

Having bought those 2 ha of steep terrain, he had it buldozzed into shelves within three days!

I can tell you that you need good feet and good eyes to move through the orchard!

He has never looked back since then!
He is presently helped by his son Takehisa/岳寿 (54), his daughter-in-law, Hiroko/弘子 (49) and his grandson Tatsumi/達巳 (26). They also get the very much needed hands of a live-in student from Shizuoka City.

Ryuusaku Shiratori demonstrating cuttings to my friend Yasushi.

They do grow many varieties of oranges and one of them, a hybrid developed by Ryuusaku, Shiratori Hyuuga/白鳥日向 (developed from Hyuuga Natsu/日向夏 from Miyazaki Prefecture in Kyushu Island) has been registered with the Japanese Agriculture & Forestry Ministry!
Actually, he is quite well-known as no later than a week before a whole Tokyo HHK TV crew of 10 staff and 2 cameras spent a whole day there!

These Hyuuga Shiratori oranges are carefully pruned away to leave only the best fruit which are wrapped in paper for better fruition!

Another view of the trees!

The wrapping takes days and days!

40-years old trees! They can be harvested until the grand age of 60 years!

Trees are propagated with cuttings planted directly into the soil.
These new trees will be completely pruned for 4~5 years before harvesting the first oranges.

100% organic culture is impossible, but the Shiratoris reckon that their orchard is more than 90% organic. The second and third generations have actually been awarded the title of Ecofarmers by the Government!
Fertilizer is practically organic. You understand it when you see the beautiful grass growing between the trees.
As for pests, they use the very minimum of pesticides and introduce natural enemies of such pests such as ladybugs and other carnivorous insects!
Pollination is done either by hand, with the help of the wind, or with rented bees!

Their Shiratori Hyuuga oranges, although seedless and full of juice, will take two more months to mature to a tasty and sweet juice.


This beauty is not ready yet!

New Summer Oranges (will be mature in May!)

As I said, they grow many varieties to organize a constant harvest and delivery.
Among them Haruka/晴香, Ponkan/ポンカン, and New Summer Oranges are extremely popular.

Ponkan ready for harvest and delivery!

They do grow and experiment with other fruit such as loquats/biwa/琵琶!

Although great exposure to the sun and big differences of temperature between day and night are welcome, the wind isn’t!
To fend off the wind, Ryuusaku planted hedges of camelias/tusbaki/椿.
He likes them so much that he made a point to plant as many varieties as possible. He invited me to admire them next February!

They do also grow a lot of their own food, such as these shiitake mushrooms and string beans I was offered to take back home with a whole bunch of ponkan!

Since I have to make at least two more trips expect more pics and explanations!

Shiratori Orchard/白鳥農園
413-0304 Shizuoka Ken, Kamo Gun, Higashi izu Cho, Shirata, 1742
413-0304 静岡県賀茂郡東伊豆町白田1742
Tel./Fax: 0557-95-2083
Mobile phone: 090-7025-6659

Check their HOMEPAGE for orange varieties, prices and orders!

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 Agricultural Products from The Producers to the Gastronomic Table: Dinner at UZU

Organic vegetables shabu-shabu

Service: excellent, easy-going and very friendly
Facilities: great washroom, great cleanliness overall
Prices: very reasonable, good value.
Strong points: Very fresh local ingredients, especially organic vegetables extensively used. Local sake. Home-made umeshu. Great shochu list.

Uzu has become the reference in the whole Shizuoka Prefecture when it comes to enjoy local ingredients of the highest quality in a Japanese Izakaya or Restaurant!

The “oyakata”/Chef, Mr. Yoshimura constantly scours the whole Prefecture for the best vegetables, meat, fish and fruit.
But he will neither scorn a great product if it is not from Shizuoka, especially shochu! But more than 90% of the food was grown, caught or raised in our plains, mountains and sea!
The overwhelming result of his enthusiasm is that he can please anyone whatever his/her gastronomic priorities.
A phone call beforehand will be enough to devise a vegan, vegetarian or omnivore meal!

As an example, let me describe what the four of us ordered there a couple of weeks ago. Do not forget we also had plenty of local sake/jizake/地酒!
The above picture features sashimi Shizuoka is particularly famous for:
-Katsuo/鰹/Bonito from Suruga Bay.
-Kinmedai/金目鯛/Splendid Alfonsino (interesting name in English!) from the Izu peninsula.
-Benimasu/紅鱒/Rainbow Trout raised in Fujinomya City at the foot of Mount Fuji!

Shamo Chicken/軍鶏 from Umegashima up the Abe River.
This dish solely consists of grilled or fried offal including shirako/白子/sperm sacs! Don’t worry, these morsels can be served only if they are super fresh and the chef has a special license!

Organic green tomatoes from Matsuki Biofarm in Fujinomiya City served as tempura!

Fried (enormous) lotus roots/renkon/蓮根 from Asabata/麻端 in Shizuoka City. So crunchy and satisfying!

Salad of organic mushrooms and broccoli from Matsuki Biofarm!

Organic Vegetables (from Matsuki Biofarm) Shabu Shabu!
Bear in mind this particular dish must be ordered at least 2 days in advance!

The Shabu Shabu is served with a great soup (can be ordered vegan!) in which you either dip or simmer the fresh vegetables to your liking!

Depending on the season and the ever-changing menu one can order organic salads such as above (I had it one month ago!) and many other delicacies!
Make a point of checking their homepage first (even if you don’t read Japanese, the pictures will give you a good idea of what’s in store for you!)

UZU
Shizuoka City, Otowa-cho, 3-18
Tel.: 054-249-6262
Business hours: 17:00~23:00
Closed on Mondays and first Tuesday
Reservations recommended
Credit cards OK
HOMEPAGE (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, Agrigraph, The Agriculture Portal to shizuoka!

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