Studying Japanese with local vegetables

veg1On one of the rare sunny days during the rainy season, a few Chinese, Korean and Indonesian students are gathered in a classroom in the Asakura Fureai Center, near Kochi University, for an unusual language lesson. But instead of a whiteboard, there are three big tables with gas cookers. Continue reading Studying Japanese with local vegetables

Nepalese Life in Kochi

“Irasyaimase, douzo , nan mei sama desuka (いらっしゃいませ、どうぞ、何名様ですか),” asks Hari from the kitchen of the Nepali and Indian restaurant “Rita.” Indian music is playing in the background, Posters of Hindu religion hang like curtains and a smiling Nepalese woman appears. Continue reading Nepalese Life in Kochi

Grilled eggplant ice cream?!

nasu_exteriorAlong the road to Aki city, perched beside the ocean, there is a small shop with an orange advertisement: “Grilled Eggplant Ice Cream”. Inside, a sweet vanilla smell is drifting, and there are various ice creams in the showcase. With the first bite of grilled eggplant ice cream, the charcoal-grilled flavor spread to the mouth, never before tasted. After that first bite, the mouth demands one more.
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Katsuo no tataki: Kochi’s Most Famous Dish

IMG_1151It is a nice warm afternoon, perfect for visiting the restaurant ‘Katsuo Fune’ near Katsurahama Beach on an empty stomach. In the huge ship-shaped building, visitors have a chance to experience grilling katsuo no tataki. The staff greets you at the front door and asks which course you would like to eat: Katsuo no tataki teishoku (with rice and miso soup) or Katsuo no tataki tanpin (a la carte). After ordering visitors are handed a long pole with a huge slab of katsuo (“bonito”) skewered on the end. Then Nishimoto-san, the head cook, guides you to the grilling station and prepares the rice straw fire for grilling. Continue reading Katsuo no tataki: Kochi’s Most Famous Dish

Kochi Organic Market in Ike: Let’s Eat Organic!

There is endless conversations between customers and sellers. There’s children’s laughter, and a clear singing voice by a local performer that makes a more relaxed air. There are fresh organic and familiar vegetables, daily dishes made of organic vegetables, sugar free sweets and handmade crafts. But there are no northern European vegetables. Continue reading Kochi Organic Market in Ike: Let’s Eat Organic!

Kochi Ice: an inspired ice cream company

Hamamachi, owner and dreamer of Kochi Ice
Fumiya Hamamachi, owner and dreamer of Kochi Ice

“If you don’t beat the drum, you can’t know what it sounds like.” (utan taiko ha saran) These are the words that inspire Fumiya Hamamachi, president and CEO of Kochi Ice, a local ice cream company. “My mother taught me these words”, Hamamachi said. “They are my treasure.” He believes in this saying so much that it led him to become the producer of handmade premium ice cream. Continue reading Kochi Ice: an inspired ice cream company

Local Produce and Consumption

Here is Shimanto city, my grandmother’s home. Kochi in March, in the early morning around 4 o’clock, chickens are clucking,and people wake up. Walking along the river, people are cutting grass, plowing a field and picking rape blossoms. They work hard under the shining sun, on their head with sweat. Around noon My grandmother harvests rape blossoms and got on the car and went to JA to sell product.

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Etrumeus teres: ウルメイワシ

By Y. Iwata

Introduction

image00A round herring is a fish often eaten in Japan. However, few people know very much about a round herring. Therefore, I think that I would like to introduce a round herring.

Description&Taxonomy

The round herring belongs to order herring clupeidae herring, and if it grows, it will be set to about 30 cm.Since eyes seem to be greatly wet, it is called the round herring。The back side of the color of the body is indigo, and the belly side is silver.Moreover, the lower jaw has projected before for a while rather than the upper jaw.

Range & Ecology

The round herring inhabits the warm and shallow sea in the world, and, of course, also inhabits the Tosa bay. A round herring goes north from spring in summer, and goes south from autumn in winterTherefore, it appears in the Hokkaido coast in summer.Food is plankton.

Use & Conservation

A round herring is used as a dried food, and is also served as sashimi or grilled with salt.

Yamamomo : Myrica rubra

By M. T.

Introduction

ƒ„ƒ}ƒ‚ƒ‚Myrica rubra is called yamamomo. It is a subtropical tree grown for its sweet, crimson to dark purple-red, edible fruit. Its fruit is a sweet-sour delicious. The Japanese name suggests the word peach, but Yamamomo and peach are totally different plant. Yamamoto is a Prefectural flower of Kochi.

Description and Taxonomy

Yamamomo can grow to a height of 10~20 meters. The leaf is 10 cm,dark green with cortex. It is dioecious, with separate male and female plants. The root system is 5~60 cm deep, with no obvious taproot. The fruit is spherical, 1.5~2 cm in diameter , with a knobby surface. The surface color is typically a deep red, red , it seemed to display small red beads. It matures in July from June. The flesh is sweet and very tart. At the center of the flesh is a big signal seed.

It called Morella rubra Loureiro; Myrica rubra var. acuminata Nakai. It is usually cited as Myrica rubra. Yamamomo is a small family of about 30 types. For a long time it was said that family was separated by three genus, and many kinds were classified in the Myrica genus, and Yamamomo was included.

Range and Ecology

Yamamomo is native to eastern Asia, Japan, China. It grows in the warm place and is strong in heat. In Japan, it grows wild in lowland and the mountainous district from Kanto and to the south in Japan. In the south in southern Honshu, it is an important tree class constituting the forest in unproductive land such as the shore or the dry ridge of the low mountain. . It tolerates poor acidic soils, because it lives together with bacteria called franckia performing nitrogen fixation.Therefore it may be used for tree planting.

Use

The fruit of the Yamamomo is eaten fresh and is processed into jam and wine. There are two main types of Yamamomo, a sour type used for making dried fruit and a sweet type used for juice and fresh eating. So the bark include a lot of tannin, it may be used as medical use. It might be planted a tree in the fields and moutains. Nowadays it is planted in a park and the street as a roadside tree. How to propagate is by grafting and layering.

Viewing

The main producing center is Tokushima and Kochi in Japan. The seasonal time of Yamamomo is a short period of less than one mouth. So it may be said that Yamamoto is a precious fruit letting you feel the season. If you would like to eat Yamamomo, go to Kochi (or Tokushima!) in the rainy season.

Nabeyaki ramen

by A. Sakakibara

We are on a train to Susaki, about one and a half hours from Kochi city. It’s a humid Sunday in the middle of July. The view from the train is a rural scene. It’s getting more rural and more rural with a lot of nature. “Where are we?”

My mind is full of this question. As we arrive at the station we can see the rice fields, the mountains, the sea and a single stray cat. We can only hear the sound of the wind through the rice fields. We walk about 1 kilometer from the station and pass through a tunnel. After we reach the exit we can see cars heading to one shop. There it is! Continue reading Nabeyaki ramen