Fruits, mushrooms, and fish - Japanese autumn food
Japanese people calls the autumn as "Autumn of harvest". A lot of seafoods, fruits, and mushrooms will be in season or harvested. Let's see the well-known Japanese autumn foods!
Waku WakuPublished on 09 Oct 2020, 11:58
Autumn is the harvest season for rice. The harvested rice at this time is called "Shinmai (new rice)", which is favorable to many Japanese.
Shinmai is, to be exactly defined as those produced, polished and packaged before 31st December of the year.
The first crop of Shinmai has features:
- Strong sweet aroma
- Tenacious texture
- Containing high moisture
Since the rice is the primary staple food of the Japanese diet, fresh Shinmai is the most important and popular seasonal crops.
Fruits are another symbol of the autumn harvest in Japan. From cultivated ones to natural products, a variety of fruits are harvested in this particular season. For example, there are figs, grapes, persimmons, pears or chestnuts and so on.
Those seasonal products are the most delicious in the peak time. Not only do they have rich flavor and aroma but also their colors and appearance are beautifully appealing. Nutritional value is a high too. Furthermore, increasing of the production allows the price decrease.
"Kurigohan (steamed chestnut rice)" is one of traditional autumn dish in Japan. It is cooked autumn harvested rice and chestnuts together, and a lots of Japanese people's favorite. If you have a chance, please try it.
In autumn, Shiitake mushrooms, Shimeji mushrooms, Maitake mushrooms, king oyster mushrooms, Enoki mushrooms, and other kinds of mushrooms can be hunted. But among them, "Matsutake mushroom" is very special for Japanese people.
Matsutake is natural mushroom with a strong unique aroma. People love this aroma, however it lasts only for a fews days after growing up. Like truffles and caviar, Matsutake are rare and expensive.
There is a proverb "Kaori Matsutake, aji Shimeji", which means "Matsutake is aromatic but Shimeji is the most tasty in all of the mushrooms". Well, whether it’s right or not... please give it a try!
You can grill mushrooms. Boiling, roasting, steaming or deep-frying are fine, too. Mushrooms go well with many kind of dishes.
"Sanma" (pacific saury)
In Kanji character, "Sanma" (秋刀魚) is written as a combination between "秋" ("Aki"- autumn), "刀" ("Katana" - knife), and "魚" ("Sakana" - fish). It represents its slender long shaped autumn fish.
The characteristics of Sanma fish in this season are large and fatty. Especially Sanma from the North of Japan is fresh so that it can be eaten as Sashimi too.
The most common and traditional way to cook Sanma is grilling the whole body. With sprinkled some salt, you can also enjoy all the internal organs.
In this season, Sanma festivals are held in various places in Japan. Normally many grilled seasonal sorrels will be served for free or reasonable price.
The most famous Sanma festival is in Meguro (Tokyo) and a lot of people visit every year. But it might be better to prepare to make a line for about three hours before getting a free Sanma.
Autumn in Japan is also called "Autumn of Appetite" or "Fruitful Autumn".
It is the best season to enjoy many seasonal products, let's enjoy Japanese autumn!
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