Echizen crab…Japanese people are most likely to imagine the crab when we hear the word Echizen.
Male snow crab, better known as "Echizen Crab" is also known as "Matsuba Crab" in the San-in (Tottori/Shimane/Northern Hyogo Prefecture) area.
Each area, believing that they have the best crab, has their own original names for crabs caught in their area.
There is a whole set of other names for queen crabs (female crabs), such as "koubaku gani" in Kaga area (Ishikawa Prefecture), and "seiko gani" in San-in and Fukui areas.
Although seiko gani is half the size of Echizen crab, it is a delicacy because of the amount of miso (entrails of crab are a delicacy in Japan) in it.…
Saba no heshiko…There is a traditional food called "saba no heshiko.
" It is a much-loved delicacy of the Wakasa area, of southwestern Fukui.
Chub mackerel caught before laying their eggs in the spring, cut opened and pickled with salt mixed with rice bran, was widely used for long-keeping food.
The best heshiko is one that has been pickled for more than one year.
With its nice aroma, this type of heshiko whets the appetite and is best when eaten with a small amount of rice bran and rice.
Another way to eat heshiko would be to use it as a topping in ocha-zuke (rice in green tea or fish tock).
A thinly sliced heshiko is a great snack to eat with drinks.…
Wasanbon…The sugar is a crucial ingredient found in higashi, a type of hard candy served with green tea.
It slowly melts in your mouth, leaving a delicate sweet after taste.
Due to a special process using sugar cane for wasanbon toh and grinding process, the sugar is whiter than usual processing.
In order to produce a whiter sugar, grinding may be done four to five times.
As this processing requires much experience to get the right degree of whiteness through controlling the temperature, humidity levels and the amount of water, it is sad to realize that there are only a few sugar processing factories left to convey the processing methods to the future generations.…
Sudachi…Sudachi is a citrus fruit similar to yuzu, and has been used to preserve food for many years.
From baked fish to sashimi to nabe (hot pot), the people of Tokushima squeeze a dash of sudachi on everything to bring out flavor.
Recently, sudachi has been used to make jelly, wine and shochu and is indeed, the king of citrus fruit of Tokushima.…
Ise oyster…In the scenery of Ise Shima, Oyster culture beds of Matoya Bay and Uramura are a distinctive feature, along with the cultured pearl beds of Ago bay.
Oyster cultivation spread during the early Showa period (1920's to 30's).
Oysters most suitable for eating are the ones cultivated in Asoura Bay and Matoya Bay, in Uramura.
Oysters are most flavorful when harvested during the months ending in "r", stating in Septenber.
A full course meal based on fresh oysters can be enjoyed during this season.
Though there are many cooked dishes using the oysters, the taste is so good that you really have to taste the oysters from Matoya raw.…
Ise lobster…The Ise-Shima area is also known for Ise lobster.
For these famous lobster, the size and shape and the lean meat is said to represent longevity and bravery, and was a must for festive meals.
The lobster was originally called Shima lobster, but When it was transported to Kyoto, and Edo, it was identified using the name Ise (from the shrine) for easy reference.
Ise lobster is prepared in various ways, including raw in sashimi, oni-gara yaki (vertically split in half and grilled), gusoku ni (gusoku means armor.
“Gusoku ni” means to chop up the lobster with the shell and then simmer the meat).
The texture of the flesh and the broth flavored by the lobster make a superb combination.…
Matsusaka beef…Matsuzaka beef is known to be a bright red meat with white fatty parts (called sashi).
It is almost a form of art, so intricate that it looks like marbled pattern - (shimofuri).
Its extremely tender texture is the best of its kind.
However, it was only in the early 1960's that Matsuzaka beef became widely known.
It is a combination of efforts by the owners of the specially bred Tajima cow (northern Hyogo Prefecture), and the meat processors.
The standards maintained for Matsuzaka beef are very high.
The cow is raised in a quiet, serene area surrounding Matsuzaka, with the Kumozu River to the north and Miya Gawa River to the south.
It must be from a good breed, and in must not be bred.
It will live quietly for two to three years and treated with utmost care.
It is said that if the cow has calves, then the sashi, the fatty parts, do not retain the characteristic patterns.
For the best feeding methods, each farm has a different approach, such as including beer in the diet.
The key lies in the feed.
The beef is sold in specialty shops in the city of Matsuzaka, with the finest cuts costing the most, but some of the meat available at more affordable cost.…
Kinzanji-miso…Soybean which is added to gluten from rice and wheat, mixed with eggplants, melon, ginger and sesame is fermented for over a six month period to make the Kaizanji miso (bean paste) which was brought to Kishu area's Yuasa from China's Kaizanji during the mid Kamakura period (1192- 1333).
Yuasa is said to be the place of origin of Yuasa soy sauce, which is yet another specialty Wakayama has brought us.…
Mehari-zushi…One variety mixes eastern Kii's produce takana (hot salted vegetable) with rice.
Due to its large size, it is called mehari-zushi, meaning, "so big that your eyes are attached.
" There is another theory that the takana is so hot that your eyes pop out, or you have to be on the look out so that the rice ball does not fall apart.
It developed from bentos (lunches) people brought while they worked in the mountains.
There is also zushi using shiroita-konbu (kelp with its surface scraped off) or yuba (dried bean curd).
There are so many kinds of zushi, it is no wonder they call it the land of zushi.…