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Niigata prefecture


torakris
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Thanks, torakris. Let me start things off with tenkuu mai (rice in the sky). But first, I have to go shopping and do some errands. I'll come back soon.

http://www.asahi.com/top/update/photonews/...0409260214.html

http://mise.cocolog-nifty.com/blog/2004/09/flying_rice.html

(Both Japanese only)

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:shock:  :shock:  :shock:  :shock:  :shock:  :shock:  :shock:  :shock:

I have never seen that before!

It's no wonder, torakris, because this is the very first attempt ever made by anyone. Nihon Lift Service http://www2.ocn.ne.jp/~jls/what/w1.htm (Japanese only) conceived an innovative idea for using its lift facilities at Ishiuchi Maruyama ski resort http://www.snowjapan.com/e/resorts/resortdetail.php?resid=7 in the off season. They used a lift with 75 seats and an overall length of 800 meters to hang out premium Shiozawa-produced Koshihikari rice totaling 300 kg (50 pyou) in weight to dry in the sun. The lift was operated every two or three hours to complete the drying process in five days.

Tenpi boshi (sun-dried) rice tastes better than machine-dried rice, but has become rare because it requires much more time and labor.

As the name implies, the price of tenkuu mai is quite high; it starts at 17,000 yen per 10 kg, twice as high as the regular Shiozawa-produced Koshihikari rice.

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Hakka-tou (Japanese mint candy)

This is a speciality of my town, Shiozawa, not that of Niigata prefecture. It's a cigarette-shaped sweet made from Japanese mint oil, sugar, and thick malt syrup (mizu ame in Japanese).

At Uono no Sato http://www.uono.co.jp/index.html (Japanese only), a restaurant and souvenir shop located in Shiozawa, hakka-tou ranks fourth in the top ten list

http://www.uono.co.jp/bussannkann.html

(Japanese only)

after Uonuma Koshihikari rice, mustard shiitake mushrooms, and original kyarabuki.

There are four confectioners in the shopping district near Shiozawa station that manufacture and sell hakka-tou and one at Ishiuchi in Shiozawa.

http://www.iijnet.or.jp/shiozawa/tokusan/hakkatou/mint.html

(Japanese only)

I didn't know anything about hakka-tou until I came here in 1992. Now I am a huge fan of it. It literally melts in your mouth and it's really soothing.

A webpage describing one such confectioner, Aoki Shouten, in detail:

http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/e-japan/syoku2003/20031220.htm

(Japanese only)

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Koshiibuki

In 1993, an experiment station, which is now the Niigata Agricultural Research Institute http://www.ari.pref.niigata.jp/ (Japanese only), started developing a new rice variety, and in 2000, the Governor of Niigata prefecture named the new variety Koshiibuki. It's a cross between Hitomebore and Domannnaka, as shown in the chart:

http://www.ari.pref.niigata.jp/sakumotsu/k...uki/ibuki2.html

(Japanese only).

It is an early variety that can be harvested ten days earlier than Koshihikari, and has palatability comparable to Koshihikari. It is often touted as the rice of the 21st century.

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what is Japanese mint called in Japanese?

how is it different than the other types of mint?

Simple. Hakka, ハッカ, 薄荷 as in Hakka-tou 薄荷糖 :biggrin: .

Japanese mint contains more menthol than other types, and was used in a medicine.

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Simple.  Hakka, ハッカ, 薄荷 as in Hakka-tou 薄荷糖 :biggrin: .

Japanese mint contains more menthol than other types, and was used in a medicine.

I have never heard of this before, it is used in the raw form as a garnish or such?

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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In the Kanpou yaku (Chinese medicine), it is dried before application like any other plant. It can also be used in the form of mentha oil.

The raw leaf can be used as a garnish in a dish, though. I don't know whether the flower is used as a garnish for sashimi (刺身のツマ) like the aojiso flower.

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in the united states, menthol in general seems to be reserved for cough drops.

i happen to like eating menthol and mint flavoured candies every now and then and i am a fan of lottes black black and green candy.

i hope to try hakka tou one of these days. will have to drop by shiozawa station....

"Bibimbap shappdy wappdy wap." - Jinmyo
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If you happen to come to Echigo Yuzawa station, you should drop by Ponshu Kan http://www.ponshukan.com/ (Japanese only; all other links in this post are also in Japanese only), which is located in that station yard.

It has a souvenir section http://www.ponshukan.com/buppan.html

a Japanese sake section http://www.ponshukan.com/shuhan.html

an amusement section http://www.ponshukan.com/amusement.html

(which I don't like)

a saka buro section (public bath with its tub containing Japanese sake) http://www.ponshukan.com/sakaburo.html

a sake-tasting section http://www.ponshukan.com/kikizake.html

where you can taste five of the typical brands of 99 sake wineries in Niigata prefecture for 500 yen,

and a restaurant called Yukinto http://www.ponshukan.com/yukinto.html

where you can order bakudan onigiri (lit. bomb rice balls), which consists of two large rice balls made of 2-gou (360-ml) Shiozawa-produced Koshihikari rice in total, a bowl of miso soup, and some pickle. At 580 yen, that's a bargain! Note that you can select two from among ten different rice ball ingredients: salmon, ume (pickled plum), kyarabuki, ginger pickled in tamari, grilled cod roe, negi (leek) miso, konbu tsukudani, fuki miso, yuzu miso, and shiso miso.

You can see a closeup photo of bakudan onigiri by clicking

http://mimizun.mine.nu:81/travel/travel200...2003030803.html

(Scroll down to view it.)

***

I found only one site that provides a description of Ponshu Kan in English, together with some photos:

http://kenney.hp.infoseek.co.jp/love_sake/ponshukan.htm

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Never heard of it? It makes your skin smooth.

An excerpt from the page:

アミノ酸の成分が、お肌をスベスベにする美容効果を。

醸造醗酵の過程で発生する成分が、血行を促す保温効果を。

ほのかなお酒の香りか、心地よいリラクゼーション効果を。

Too busy to translate :biggrin:

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Yeah, I remember reading in the novel "Fushin no Toki" by..errhhmmm...Ariyoshi Sawako, that mirin or a very sweet sake is an excellent skin lotion!

Women who work in tofu shops where they dip yuba out of soymilk are also reputed to have lovely skin on their hands and arms (just where it counts, right?).

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Hegi soba.

Hegi refers to the wooden box in which soba is beautifully arranged. In Niigata, soba contains a type of seaweed called funori and is somewhat greenish. My father comes from Nagano (also called Shinshu) and I used to think that Shinshu soba was the best. For me, hegi soba is an acquired taste; it actually took me some time to get used to it, but now, I'm a huge fan of hegi soba!

Toukamachi city is famous for hegi soba.

http://www.city.tokamachi.niigata.jp/kouho...ntro/tasty.html

But my town, Shiozawa, also has several good soba shops. My favorite is Tabata Ya.

http://www.jalan.net/kanko/SPT_172337.html

http://www.hokuhoku.co.jp/osusume/sobakui/...ata/3-taba.html

(Both in Japanese only)

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Kuruma fu (wheel-shaped wheat glutin)

See the previous thread:

http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=40947

Kuruma fu is really useful.  You can always use it instead of meat.

gallery_16375_5_1097140793.jpg

actually, many years ago i was quite obsessed with gluten (nama fu) and learned to make it from flour.

but i have never tried kuruma fu or any of the other dried fu for that matter... i am going to try some soon and see how the texture compares.

"Bibimbap shappdy wappdy wap." - Jinmyo
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and a restaurant called Yukinto http://www.ponshukan.com/yukinto.html

where you can order bakudan onigiri (lit. bomb rice balls), which consists of two large rice balls made of 2-gou (360-ml) Shiozawa-produced Koshihikari rice in total, a bowl of miso soup, and some pickle.  At 580 yen, that's a bargain!  Note that you can select two from among ten different rice ball ingredients:  salmon, ume (pickled plum), kyarabuki, ginger pickled in tamari, grilled cod roe, negi (leek) miso, konbu tsukudani, fuki miso, yuzu miso, and shiso miso.

Correction: At present, Yukinto uses Shiozawa-produced Koshihikari rice (fresh from the rice paddies of the Director of Ponshu Kan. When that rice runs out, it uses the rice from the house next door. When that rice runs out, it uses the rice from another town in Uonuma.

(I had made an inquiry to Ponshu Kan, and received a reply a couple of days ago.)

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actually, many years ago i was quite obsessed with gluten (nama fu) and learned to make it from flour.

but i have never tried kuruma fu or any of the other dried fu for that matter...  i am going to try some soon and see how the texture compares.

I made niku jaga for supper tonight, using kuruma fu instead of pork. (Usually, in making niku jaga, people in the Kanto area (including Tokyo) use pork, while those in the Kansai area (including Osaka) use beef.) It tasted so bland that I had to add some dashi no moto (instant dashi).

gallery_16375_5_1097669255.jpg

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I made niku jaga for supper tonight, using kuruma fu instead of pork.  (Usually, in making niku jaga, people in the Kanto area (including Tokyo) use pork, while those in the Kansai area (including Osaka) use beef.)  It tasted so bland that I had to add some dashi no moto (instant dashi).

gallery_16375_5_1097669255.jpg

fu-jaga???? :blink:

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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