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Settle in, pour a glass of wine if you’d like, put on some good music and commit, commit to the time it will take knowing that, if you’re like most of us and work a steady job, cooking will not just be a part of your evening, it will be your evening....

Over the course of week we toured markets, observed harvests, clam cultivation, and a Padron pepper farm. We dined at local restaurants and the Wakuden chefs cooked several meals, interpreting the local ingredients and flavors through a Japanese lens....

Golden yellow rice fields stretched up the hill. To my right a stately tree reached its branches toward me as if to offer its urchin-like fruits. But I, the tallest if our trio, could not reach the prickly orbs from where I stood, try as I might, thighs pressed against the metal guardrail....

Kuniko seemed less than enthusiastic. She’d been out in the yard watering plants and raking under a sun that still burns hot in Mirukashi this time of year. “I’m tired,” she said, her voice trailing as she disappeared down the hallway. It was poor timing on my part to ask her...

But what to do with the great pile of fresh clean shiso leaves left over? Rooting around in Kuniko’s pantry I found a jar half full of several-year-old ume brine reserved after the umeboshi had been finished. I added the left over shisho leaves to the brine....

They produced a pop-up cultural dining experience for 15 guests that brought the regional ingredients, architectural assets and local crafts together with a top-level chef to create a hyper-local culinary experience, a meal of the place served in the place. ...

On January first many years ago, I watched as Kuniko disappeared into her pantry, pulled an airtight bin from a top shelf and brought out a sealed bag with a paper-thin black sheet of something. “Suizenji nori,” she said. “It comes from Kyoto.” ...

During tastings with Tsunehiro Kawahara of Sanpuku Nori, he described yaki nori as paripari, nama nori as korikori and koumiboshi nori as sakusaku. Paripari translates to crispy, sakusaku to crunchy, and korikori is, well, something else very similar...

At Soudensha gallery Mr. and Mrs. Hara present Karatsu style pottery in a 100-year-old residence. But it's more than a gallery, it’s an entire experience for some lucky customers who are invited to sit for a while, eat wagashi and drink matcha...

Though a very Japanese ingredient, umami, salty, and sweet are flexible flavors that can easily fit into a western flavor palate. One barrier to westerners more readily adopting nori into their diets has been that 9 x 11 inch paper-thin sheet. What on earth do you do with it?...