FOOD CULTURE ANECDOTES Part 1 (10)-42019/10/30（Wed）
♪ Kagoshima prefecture is made up of the mainland and the Satsunan Islands such as Tanegashima Island, Yakushima Island, Amami Oshima Island and Yoronjima Island. This prefecture is one of the most privileged prefectures in Japan for both agriculture and fishery. In addition, production of pork pig and beef cattle such as black pigs and Japanese black cattles. Therefore, there are many special products and local cuisines related to the blessed ingredients. “Satsuma” is the old name of Kagoshima prefecture. So, there are many things possessing the word of “Satsuma”. You can see many “Satsuma cuisines”and “Satsuma-imo”(“Satsuma” sweet potato), “Satsuma-miso”, “Satsuma-age” etc.
♪ The food culture of Kagoshima prefecture is strongly influenced by Okinawa.The Satsuma clan had been kept by “Shimazu family”. So that, the family had a great influence on politics and culture of the clan.
♪ The main agricultural, livestock and marine products in Kagoshima prefecture are sweet potato, pumpkin, tea, potato,summer orange, green pepper, pigs, beef cattle, broiler, egg chicken, squid, tuna, flying fish, urchin eagle, etc.
♪ As described above, there are many Satsuma cuisines, but among them many are influenced by Ryukyu cuisines. “Ryukyu” is the old name of Okinawa prefecture.
☆ “Satsuma-imo (Satsuma sweet potato)” is said that it was transmitted from China to Ryukyu in 1607 and to Satsuma in 1614. Because sweet potatoes are sweet, they have long been used for making sweets and Shochu (an alcoholic beverage originated from Kyushu area). Therefore, Kagoshima is the home of potato shochu (Imoshochu in Japanese). .How did Satsuma-imo go to Kagoshima? There is two theories. One of them is that a Satsuma soldier brought it to Kagoshima from Ryukyu. The other one is that a Satsuma fisherman ,Riemon Maeda, brought it to Kagoshima from Ryukyu. But the exact thing was not known.
☆ Konyo Aoki planted seedlings of Satsuma-imo at the Koishikawa farm in Edo (Tokyo now) according to the order from the 8th Shogun, Yoshimune Tokugawa, and he succeeded in cultivating the Satsuma-imo in 1734. After that, the cultivation method was fed back to Satsuma.
☆ “Sakurajima Daikon” is a large white radish with a round shape. Weighs 20-30kg. Since Sakurajima is a volcano, the soil is naturally volcanic ash. Since the volcanic ash is rough sand, the radish can be fertilized sideways without resistance. It takes time and experience to grow Sakurajima Daikon.
♪ Well, let's write some of local cuisines in Kagoshima prefecture.
☆ The local cuisine in Kagoshima prefecture,“Tsukeage”, is a kind of “Satsuma-age” which is a fried mashed meat of white fish. In “Tsuke-age”, the raw fish are golden threadfin bream (Itoyori in Japanese), lizard fish ( Eso in Japanese), cod (Tara in Japanese), atka mackerel (Hokke in Japanese), and Horse mackerel (Aji in Japanese), etc. It is characterized by kneading these mashed fish meats with local sake and brown sugar,and these are fried in rapeseed oil. It is a typical local cuisine in Kagoshima prefecture that you can eat as is, eat with soy sauce. It is said that the origin of “Satsuma-age” may be “Chikige” in “Ryukyu Cuisine”.
☆ ‟Aku" of ‟Akumaki” means the supernatant after adding water to ash obtained by burning grass and trees. “Maki” of “Akumaki” means wrapping. The first step for making “Akumaki” is that rice has been soaked in “Aku” overnight. The second step is that the rice soaked in ‟Aku” is wrapped with bamboo skin and cooked. The final step is that making dumpling using the cooked rice mixing with sugar to make sweet.
♪ Kagoshima prefecture has culture including food culture and history characteristics that are somewhat different from those of other prefectures. So that, since you can touch interesting things, please go there and enjoy “Kagoshima”.
♪ Here, the characteristics of Okinawa's food culture will be focused, and because local cuisines are so varied, each cuisine will be written on another occasion.
♪ The “Ryukyu Kingdom ” was successfully centralized in 1462 when Shin Sho moved the capital to Shuri. In 1609, Satsuma clan, which had a hard economically this time, overcame Ryukyu. Although the Ryukyu Kingdom was under control by Satsuma clan, the Kingdom was continued until 1879 . In this year , Ryukyu became “Okinawa Prefecture” that means the Kingdom was over. And after World War II, Okinawa prefecture was under American rule. Therefore, Okinawa's culture, including food culture, will be affected by China, Taiwan, Southeast Asia, Satsuma (Kagoshima) of Japanese mainland and the United States.
☆ The Ryukyu dynasty dispatched chefs to China and Satsuma clan in order to learn cooking of Chinese and Satsuma cuisines, because the dynasty had to entertain officials from China and Satsuma clan.The pork cuisines are strongly influenced from China. But pork cuisines in Okinawa are characterized by low spicy taste that was different from those in China and Satsuma. Pork cuisines in Okinawa is healthy because it is boiled well and excess fat is removed by boiled spills.
♪ The concept of “Medical Meals" (‟Ishoku Dogen" in Japanese that means “cuisines and ingredients are medicines”）was also from China. Japanese foods in Okinawa were influenced from Satsuma clan. As for the influence of the United States, fast food such as pork luncheon meat, pork dishes, hamburgers (McDonald's store in Okinawa prefecture opened 8 years earlier than the Japanese mainland) came in early.
☆ There are many immigrants from Okinawa to Central and South America. So,roast beef, tacos, pastis, etc.were introduced into Okinawa prefecture, although those has been arranged in a somewhat Okinawan style and is becoming a new food culture. Okinawa prefecture has a hot climate, so there are few cuisines using vegetables which is cooked without heating. Consequently, it is characterized by being fried (“Champuru” in Okinawa dialect). Vegetable cuisines also use less spices. Okinawa's unique hard tofu (Shimatofu in Japanese) which has three types of tofu is usually put in “Chanpuru”. The three types are: Soft type (“Yushitofu in Okinawa dialect), “Tofu Yo” which is a tofu soaked in “Awamori” (local sake) with monascus, and “Zimmermy Tofu” which is made from peanut. As vegetables for “Champru”, bitter gourd (Goya in Okinawa dialect), cabbage, carrot, sprout, papaya, etc. are used. These tofus and vegetables are stir-fried with pork and kelp in “Champru”. Compared to main lsland, seafood cuisines are not eaten much in Okinawa prefecture.
♪ “Okinawa's food culture” is quite different from other prefectures in the mainland. Let's try to highlight its features mixing with some"Okinawa’s products.
☆ As elements that influenced "Okinawa's food culture", it is located geographically south compared to the mainland, and many products that are unique or dominant in the subtropics. Historically, China, Taiwan, Southeast Asia, Korea ,the Satsuma in Kyushu and United States affected on Okinawa’s food culture. Furthermore, trades with various countries and personality of Okinawan people are also effected on food culture of this prefecture.
☆ It is characterized as “food of Okinawa” that Okinawan people eat well pork, beef , goat meat, Tofu, Okinawan vegetables, fruits and seaweeds including kelp . Further, "there are few cuisines that can not be cooked", "Low salt intake", “less spices”, etc. are also characteristics of Okinawan foods.
☆ When Okinawan people eat pork cuisines,they spill fat of pork from pot to discard it. This is to reduce excessive fat intake.
♪ Okinawa prefecture has 28 items called “Island vegetables (“Shimayasai”in Japanese)”. The main ones are as follows (name in round brackets shows Okinawan name); mustard (Shimaner), cucumber (Mowi), pumpkin (Chinkwa), radish (Dekuni), carrot (Chidekuni), bitter gourd (Goya), mugwort (Foochiba), papaya (Papaya), etc.
♪ There are special fruits in Okinawa prefecture which are mango ,flat lemon (Sikhwasa), pine apple, dragon fruit, passion fruit, papaya, etc. Okinawan people enjoy eating the fruits as raw, jam or juice.
♪ Okinawa prefecture is surrounded by sea. So, many marine products such as tuna, bonito, marlin, sea beam, salmon, yellowtail, shrimp, squid, seaweed, etc. However, it can be said that Okinawan people do not buy fish much less than people in mainland. This causes the food culture in which fish cuisines do not develop in Okinawa. Nevertheless, it is a characteristic that Okinawan people eat well kelp, Mozuku-sea weed and sea lettuce.
♪ You may be amazed by the variety of Okinawan local cuisines. Every cuisine has been devised in terms of nutrition / efficacy and storage in addition to taste.
♪ “Food culture of Okinawa prefecture” is a food culture not found on the Japanese mainland. So, it is interesting and attractive to the mainland people. You are hoped to visit Okinawa prefecture and to enjoy food special scenery and history addition to foods.
♪ This is the last report as part 1. In other words, we covered the food culture of all prefectures in Japan (47 prefectures). From the next time, we will select from the part 2 of Japanese report (subjects that freely choose the world and Japanese food culture) and will report it as Part 2 in English.
Refer to FOOD CULTURE ANECDOTES FOOD CULTURE ANECDOTES Part 1 (10)-3 (Kumamoto and Miyazaki Prefectures )