‘Writer baton’ is a project whereby photo-writers from each of the 7 prefectures that surround the Seto Inland Sea send each other their particular prefecture’s specialties.
When I took a look at the address of the sender, it said Ashiya, Kobe. “What!”, I thought, “Isn’t Ashiya the city of socialites”? I’m a bit startled by the address as I open the small package. And this is what I found inside.
Brown mushrooms, Tsukudani (a dish where the main ingredients have been simmered in soy sauce and mirin), and teyaki senbei (an assortment of small rice crackers); just what you might expect from a town of socialites. 🙂 Although all the items are simple, they have a somewhat refined air.
Well then, how should we eat them?
The brown mushrooms were apparently grown in the Rokko area, which is supposed to have really delicious waters. It’s even offered for sale in Japan, so it must be good, and the area should also be good for growing top quality vegetables. My expectations are rising!
As the ingredients are so refined, I decide that I should attempt to create something fashionable… After lengthy consideration, I settle on making brown mushroom ajillo.
This is the first time I tried my hand at making ajillo, but I think I did quite well (singing my own praises here).
And the most important thing, the flavor… is really rich!! The mushroom meat is very firm and as you bite in, the umami just comes bursting out. All I did was add garlic and salt to olive oil and cooked the mushrooms in it, yet it was so delicious.
Next, I try the tsukudani with freshly cooked rice.
It’s made in Tatsu city in Hyogo prefecture, a region known for soy sauce production. It’s only natural that the tsukudani of this region be delicious. This time I tried the white fry and kelp version, as well as the bonito and lotus root.
The rich fragrance of the soy sauce works amazingly well with the ingredients simmered until they’re soft.
Lastly, I crunch on the traditional rice cracker assortment. Apparently, Ms. Hori (the sender) has been buying these rice crackers since she was a child, and their name “Mukashi-nagara no Teyaki senbei” (‘traditional rice crackers’) truly fits their appearance. Rather than normal rice crackers (senbei), they seem more like “kaki”, which are thinly cut and fried rice cakes, and you can taste the pepper that gives them a nice sting. I think they would go nicely with some beverages, too!
Well, thanks to Ms. Hori I was able to have a taste of how it feels to live like a socialite. Thank you for the delicacies. 🙂
The links below are to sites that sell the products mentioned above.
Mukashi-nagara no Teyaki Senbei (rice crackers)
Setouchi Finder Photo-writer: Daisuke Chiba
Daisuke Chiba / Photo-writer I was born in 1985 in Miyoshi City, Tokushima Prefecture, and now live in Tokushima City. After graduating university, I worked at a publishing company as an editor for various mooks, and in April 2014 I went freelance. I work as a photographer, copy-writer and editor, but also do product development and other stuff as well. If anyone needs me, I can do anything! Except, in spite of my being from Tokushima, dancing - I’m really bad at dancing Awa Odori!
> A guided tour, including teatime, where you can see the former “Koshien Hotel” – “Frank Lloyd Wright type” architecture by Arata Endo. / Koshien Hall at Mukogawa Women’s University (Nishinomiya-shi, Hyogo)
> Experience the ancient way of salt making on Kamikamagari-jima Island on the Tobishima Kaido in Aki-nada! / Kamagari Ancient Salt Making Remains Restoration Pavilion & “Amabito-no-Moshio” (Kure-shi, Hiroshima)
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