“I can remember a hot mid-summer evening in Kochi,” says my classmate Yukiko. “The sun was shining brightly in the blue summer sky and the wind blow slowly, thus triggering the sound of wind bell. It is a noisy evening where the sound of cheerful kids that are playing near the engawa filled the humid air,”she started her story with a big smile on her face.
She remembered that they will stop playing after their grandmother called them to come over to the engawa. “My grandmother will called us while carrying a tray filled with a plate of Mire biscuits and a jug of cold juice.” Yukiko reminisced her grandmother will watched them eating deliciously with her rough lips smiling happily.
One hot and humid afternoon, an exhausted baker in Kochi’s factor found that he forgot to put cookies on meronpan. He usually returned it to uncooked dough, but this time he didn’t. He decided to eat it for his snack and he put it on castella and popped it in the oven. As it baked it produced good and sweet smell of bread. He was amazed with the new product that was produced unexpectedly. He really liked it and decided to sell the new product. Continue reading Boushi pan
“What a hot day!” says one woman in front of her house. She and her neighbor are talking with. “Well, do you remember that today is Hange (半夏)?” says neighbor. “Of course. Why don’t we make Hange dango together for our workers? And also, Ginburo, a kind of black bean, are overgrowing here and there. So, let’s make Ginburo sushi too! I’m sure every worker gets happiness.” says woman. Just then, her child come back home and says “I’m home. Hey, mom. I’m really hungry!” “I thought you would say just like that. I made Konchin. Eat it and wait a dinner time.” Continue reading Otoyo Town’s Special Product
“Oh, you are here already!” said the fisherman with his professional smiling reception, “Please wait a minute for I am a little busy”
“No problem,” responded by four of us in the typical polite Japanese styles, “we have plenty of time” Actually, though, we really could not control our desire for the fish that was maybe the most delicious fish we have ever eaten. Continue reading The Fish Story of Katsuo
Something is looking at me with the glare of eyes from a plate…..It’s a Chirimen Jako!!! I loved it before, but without notice, I became not to like it, even feel gross. Their eyes look like as if they are blaming me. Continue reading Chirimen Don : looking at me
The women are talking cheerfully. “Irashai! Come in, welcome!” they say when we enter the roadside station (道の駅) named Osugi (大杉).
It’s a very humid day in June, and it has rained violently in Otoyo town, about one hour from Kochi. Beautiful river, green forest…and a little lonely roadside…along the road from Otoyo interchange, we can find roadside station, Osugi. Half of the place is a restaurant, the other half is shop. It is a little smaller than other roadside stations, but like other stations, some products were sold as usual.. Continue reading The Phantom Fermented Tea: Goishi Tea in Otoyo
“Are we there yet?” We are driving deep in the mountain. There are no konbini (convenience store), gas stations, no buildings of any kind, but only mountains! mountains! mountains!!! Can we really see and reach the village ? We just keep driving up the mountain roads. At last, about 2 hours later, we finally see the village.
The sun is dazzling as the temperature soars above thirty degrees Celsius. The day is too hot, but Obiyamachi is full of energy because it’s Sunday the scene of the Sunday street market. A lot of stalls stretch as far as eye can see. There are fruits, vegetables, tea, steel products and so on. My friend and I enter a shopping arcade because we want to stay out of the sunlight, and we discover a store which sell imokenpi. There is a clerk who looks to be 50 or 60 years old moving around the shop. Sometimes she stops to talk with customers. This store, called “Kenpiya”, has many flavors of imokenpi– there are salt, sesame dark brown sugar and dried green seaweed. What they have in common is that they are all hard. Continue reading Imokempi: Hard or Soft?
Sweat is running on my face under the glaring sun one day in the middle of July. My friend and I have walked around Sunday Market all morning, and we’re now sitting in a comfortable Japanese-style room in Tosa-cha cafe. Though before noon, it is full of customers of all ages. Cold Tosa tea served as soon as we sat looked like bitter and astringent, but it is easy to drink. Fresh taste cooled me down and I could sense a little sweetness. There is a teapot in which are a few tea leaves cup, pottery and green tea cake on the table. Chartreuse tea is shining in a cup. I’m little confused because of preparation methods of green tea one of staffs taught us. Hot Tosa tea tastes more bitter than the cold one, but it’s perfect with sweet cake. I can’t help saying “This is so good!”. I find that taking enough time and many steps are important to make better tea. I’m feeling the slow-passing time for a long time. Continue reading Let’s Have Tea Time
When I was a little child and caught a cold, my mother would make ginger tea for me explaining why it was so good for me. “Of course it’s good for you,” she would say, “It makes you warm and it also relieves your symptoms.”
The recipe my mother used is simple. First, grate some ginger. Next, add sugar or honey and dilute it with water. Finally, boil it for 10 to 20 minutes. That’s all! How simple! Just give it a go! Continue reading Gingerly Ginger