FOOD CULTURE ANECDOTES Part 1 (10)-22019/07/29（Mon）
♪ Nagasaki prefecture has long coastline, because this prefecture has islands such as Tsushima, Iki, Goto, and Hirado islands. So, various fish can be taken. The main ones are sea bream (“Tai” in Japanese), horse mackerel (“Aji” in Japanese), Spanish mackerel (“Sawara” in Japanese), yellowtail (“Buri” in Japanese), turban shell (“Sazae” in Japanese), hijiki seaweed (“Hijiki” in Japanese), cultured puffer (“Yoshoku Fugu” in Japanese), etc. This prefecture is abundant in agricultural products such as green pepper, cucumber, taro (“Satoimo” in Japanese), carrot, lettuce, asparagus, strawberry, etc. and also abundant in fruits. The number of breeding livestocks which are bloiler, pig and beef cattle is top class in Japan.
♪ The Portuguese landed in Hirado island in Nagasaki prefecture, but due to the Edo period secular policy, the Portuguese were expelled from the island, and then housed in Dejima (an artificial island in Nagasaki) where was made in 1636. Such Portuguese told how to make a sweet, castella, to Japanese.
♪ On the other hand, Dutch people came to Hirado island in 1609, but moved from Hirado to Dejima in 1641. At the same time, they also made a Dutch trading house. After that, they lived on Dejima for 220 years. They ate and drank Dutch foods which were the same as in their home country. The foods were bread, beef, butter, coffee, beer, wine, etc.
☆ As described above, “ Castella" has been transmitted from Portuguese.The raw materials to make “Castella” are eggs, sugar cane, honey and flour. Mix eggs, sugar cane and honey . After settling down the bubbles, sprinkle in the flour and mix. Put it in a container and bake its surface part at 180 C゜for several min. After that, similarly bake the bottom part at the same temperature and time. When the surface and bottom parts become brownish and plump. Then slowly cool using enough time. This is a standard method to make “Castella”.
☆ In Nagasaki prefecture, there is "Nagasaki Champon" as a local cuisine which is a kind of Chinese noodle dish. Stir with vegetables and oyster, squid, shrimp, pork etc. and fry with lard. And then, add soup made with pork bones and chicken. After that,noodles are added, and are simmered. Lastly,thicken with potato starch in water.In the middle of the Meiji period, Heijun Chin of Nagasaki made for poor Chinese students.
♪ There is “Nagasaki Dish Udon (“Nagasaki Sara Udon” in Japanese)” which was also made by Heijun Chin for delivery of “Nagasaki Champon”. As it is in trouble when the soup spills at the time of delivery, the soup in “Nagasaki Champon” is concentrated to make “Nagasaki Sara Udon”.
☆ "Sasebo Burger". The hamburger entered Sasebo after the US Navy came to Sasebo in 1955. After that, there is no fixed recipe and each store makes it with its own recipe. It is Sasebo methd to make a big hamburger after hearing the customer's order.This is “Sasebo Burger”.
♪ There are innumerable islands in Nagasaki prefecture. Among them, Tsushima, Iki, and Goto islands, which support the economy of Nagasaki prefecture will be described below.
♪ First of all, it will be written about specialties and local cuisines of Tsushima Islands. Tsushima Islands are between Kyushu main land and Korea. Although these islands are few plains, agricultural products are abundantly taken, because many people made efforts to be able to do agriculture. Of course, many sea foods can be taken from the islands.
☆ The main agricultural products of Tsushima are rice, buckwheat (“Soba” in Japanese), asparagus, oranges, sweet potato, tomato, potato and honey. Beef is also famous.
☆ The main marine products that can be harvested on Tsushima Islands are Hijiki sea weed, red sea bream, mackerel, horse mackerel, conger eel, sea urchin, squid, etc.
♪ Next will be described an example on local cuisines using abundant ingredients havested in Tsushima Islands.
☆ In “Ishiyaki Ryori" (in Japanese), “Ishiyaki” means a cooking way using burned stone as heat source for making a “Ryori” which means “cuisine”. Originally, it is a fisherman's dish that a fisherman ate on the beach of Mitsutsu Island. It is a cuisine that use seasonal seafood and vegetables which were taken in the island and cook on a well-burned quartz rock. To the baked ingredients, some sauces such as soy sauce are put and eat it.
♪ Iki Island is an island located between Tsushima and Kyushu mainland. There are 23 islands around the Iki main Island.
☆ "Red rice (“Akamai” in Japanese) of Iki Island is a Japanese native species which was at Iki from the Yayoi period based on the investigation of Yayoi ruins. This rice may be used for the priesthood. “Yayoi period” was from 5th century BC to 3rd century BC.
☆ The Kuroge Wagyu beef, “Iki beef (“Iki Gyu ” in Japanese)”, which is a unique species born in Iki island, has been bred from the Yayoi period, and has been used as a working cow. It became almost extinct but gradually recovered. It has become a brand beef representing Iki Island. The original beef of this brand beef is Kobe beef and Matsusaka beef.
♪ The marine products that can be taken at Iki Islands basically are similar to those from Tsushima Islands.
♪ There are many local cuisines using local agricultural products and sea foods on Iki Islands.
☆ "Sea urchin rice (“Unimeshi” in Japanese)" is rice cooked with sea urchin, soy sauce, and miso soup. Sea urchins used for this rice cooking, various species of urchin are used. Local cuisines using sea urchin include, for example, "Sushi with urchin of Iki (“Iki no Unizushi” in Japanese)”.
♪ "Goto” is an island located about 100 km west of Nagasaki port. The Goto Islands consist of 140 islands. Every islands are good fishing grounds and also produce agricultural products, so there are also plenty of local cuisines using these ingredients.
☆Goto Islands produce much agricultural products such as tomato (Goto ruby), rice, wheat, soybean, sweet potato and buckwheat, etc. "Goto beef" and "Goto pork" which boasts of the mineral rich and superior taste derived from feeding grasses.
☆ Fishware that can be taken in Goto Islands are plenty. The fish are flying fish, abalone, sazaeshell, oyster, squid, etc.
♪ There are many traditional local cuisines using special ingredients in Goto Islands.Among them, “Goto Udon” is known throughout Japan.
☆ "Goto Udon (Udon noodle)" is a hand-made Udon noodle that was transmitted to Goto during the era (about 6 to 8 century) of the Tang Dynasty. At that time,it is said that about 500 of Japanese peple were dispatched to Tang Dynasity China (“Kentoshi” in Japanese) to study Chinese culture. “Kentoshi” studied how to make udon noodle, and returned to Japan via Goto. It is said that the most delicious way to eat this udon by boiling it and eating it with soy sauce and soupe made from flying fish.
♪ Oita prefecture has a large production of vegetables, fruits, and is particularly famous for Kabos and Shiitak mushroom (“Shiitake” in Japanese). “Dried Shiitake (“Hoshi Shiitake” in Japanese)”, "Donko", is a luxury item. This prefecture can take many marine products, including stripped mallet (“Bora” in Japanese),flounder (“Hirame” in Japanese), Japanese finger prawn (“Kurumaebi” in Japanese),squid, and scabbard fish (“Tachiuo” in Japanese), etc. “Seki horse mackerel (“Seki Aji” in Japanese) and “Seki mackerel (“Seki Saba” in Japanese) are branded products. Seki is a fishing port located Saganoseki region. Both brand fish are landed at Saganoseki fishing port. There are also many local cuisines in Oita prefecture.
☆ Vegetables that harvested in Oita prefecture are green perilla (“Shiso” in Japanese), watercress, Japanese parsley (“Seri” in Japanese), garlic, etc.
☆ The main fruit of Oita prefecture is "Kabosu" (a sour jucy green citrus fruit) which is grown mainly in Usuki area. The yielding amount of “Kabosu” in Oita prefecture occupies 96% of the amount of whole Japan. Many citrus fruites other than “Kabosu” can be taken in Oita prefecture. In addition, the harvest volume of blackberry in this prefecture is the second rank in the country. "Blackberry" is known to have very strong antioxidant activity.
♪ In Oita prefecture, sea water from the Seto Inland Sea and the Bungo Channel mixed with water from mountains, so the flow of tides is fast. This resulted in abundant planktons, so that, plenty of marine products are gotten. Typical examples are "Seki Saba", "Seki Aji" and "Shiroshita Flatfish (“Shiroshita Karei” in Japanese)" which are brand fish. Fishing of “Seki Aji”and “Seki Saba” is perfrmed with fishing rod, because It is difficult to fish using nets due to very fast flow of tides. This “Use of Fishing Rod” is a condition for the brand certification.
☆ The origin of "Shiroshita Karei" is as follows. There is a castle called “Hinode Castle” in Hinode town of Kunisaki city. “Castle” means “Shiro”in Japanese. The high quality flounder (“Karei” in Japanese) can be taken in Beppu Bay located under “Hinode Castle”. “Under” means “Shita” in Japanese. “Shiroshita Karei” is a high-quality “Karei” having no fish smell and soft meal, and shows tasteful when cooked.
♪ Because of plenty kinds of ingredients in Oita prefecture, there are many local cuisines.
☆ “Ohan (“Yellow cooked rice”, that is, “Paella”)” was made by Sorin Otomo who was the lord of Usuki Clan in the middle of 16th century. He was deeply influenced by Christianity from missionaries who came from Spain and Portugal to proclaim Christianity. So that Sorin finally became Christian. The missionaries treated “Paella” the believers. Because there was not saffron in Usuki area at that time, yellow color of saffron was substituted by use of gardenia (“Kuchinashi” in Japanese). It is said that Sorin recommended to eat “Ohan” to people other than Christian too.
♪ One of the most famous specialties of Oita prefecture is “Donko" of “Dried Shiitake mushroom (“Hoshi Shiitake” in Japanese)".
♪ "Shiitake” is eaten in Japan, China, Korea, Southeast Asia, New Zealand, etc. In Japan, it was eaten after the Asuka period. In nature, it grows on dead trees such as sawtooth oak (“Kunugi” in Japanese), chinquapin (“Shii” in Japanese),and Japanese oak timber (“Nara” in Japanese).
☆ The cultivation of “Shiitake” in Japan started in the Edo period (350 years ago). There are two theories on the first cultivation site of “Shiitake”, that is, the “Oita theory” and the “Izu theory".
☆ There are two types of “Shiitake” cultivation (“Shiitake Saibai” in Japanese). These are raw wood shiitake mushroom culture (“Genboku Shiitake Saibai” in Japanese) and fungus floor shiitake culture (“Kinsho Shiitake Saibai” in Japanese). The cultivation of “Genboku Saibai” is carried out on old woods of “Kunugi”, “Shii”and “Nara”.
☆ ‟Shiitake” cultivation on sawdust substrate (“Kinsho Shiitake” in Japanese). To mill bed mixed with nutrients and water in sterilized container, the “Shiitake spore (“Shiitake Kin” in Japanese)” is inoculated. And then, “Shiitake” is collected after 90 days.
♪ "Genboku Shiitake" is rich in flavor, but it requires labor and time. The flavor of ‟Kinsho Shiitake" is inferior to that of ”Genboku Shiitake", but the cultivation efficiency is good and inexpensive.
♪ “Raw Shiitake (“Nama Shiitake” in Japanese)" will be damaged after about four days. When “Nama Shitake” is dried to “Hoshi Shiitake”, it improves its shelf life.
☆ Regarding classification according to the form of the umbrella part of “Shiitake”, "Donko" is a thick one with no-open umbrella, and "Koshin" is a thin one with open umbrella.
♪ “Hoshi Shiitake” was eaten first in China. It seems to exist in Japan in 16 century. Osaka was the center of the distribution of “Hoshi Shiitake” in the Edo period. The first prefectures for “Hoshi Shiitake” production were Shizuoka, Miyazaki and Oita. Later, Oita prefecture became the top situation of the production.
☆ The drying method of “Nama Shiitake" includes “sunlight method (“Tenpi Boshi” in Japanese)” and “mechanical method (“Kikai Boshi ” in Japanese)”. “Tenpi Boshi" depends on the weather and takes time, but the flavor of “Hoshi Shiitake" made by “Tenpi Boshi” is excellent that is the reason of its high-class character.
♪ Main “Shiitake” in Oita prefecture is "Genboku Şhiitake". It is a high quality "Nama Shiitake" with excellent flavor. So “Umami”, smell and crunchy are the best.
☆ The“Umami” component of “Nama Shiitake" and “Hoshi Shiitake” is guanylate. This chemical causes delicious taste of the “Shiitake soup”.
♪ Beppu Onsen and Yufuin Onsen are well known, and the amount of hot spring of the two springs is the first and second place in Japan, respectively. Please enjoy these hot springs. After that, please eat the ingredients and local cuisines of Oita prefecture.
Refer to FOOD CULTURE ANECDOTES Part 1 (10)-3 (Kumamoto and Miyazaki Prefectures).
Refer to FOOD CULTURE ANECDOTES Part 1 (10)-1 (Fukuoka and Saga Prefectures ) .