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Winter delicacy, Mikan(mandarin oranges)/冬はやっぱりみかんでしょう♪

Now I'm re-organizing past posts of this blog. The contents of category are messed up totally and I want to clear them up. While doing it, I noticed that recent posts were all about fruits, so I feel obliged to add this post about mikan, mandarin oranges.
三ヶ日みかん箱

Last week I bought a box of Mikkabi(三ヶ日) Mikan with 3,500yen. I counted the number of oranges in the box and found about 90 in the box as I had already eaten five. Just before I bought the box, I bought a net of Mikkabi oranges and it was really good and decided to buy a box. The I got the box, I ate five oranges continuously remembering that my sister ate ten oranges at a time and her hands turned yellow in our childhood. My husband loves mandarin oranges very much and during the season, he use to eat a few boxes of oranges. According to him, his friends smelt something orange scent from his body.
みかんの数

Anyway, now if you go to any supermarkets, you will find boxes of mandarin oranges. Their variety is rich and some from Nagasaki, the other from Ehime, Shizuoka, etc, etc. Mikkabi is a famous brand produced in Shizuoka prefecture. Its taste is really good and if you are at a loss which one you should choose, I recommend to try Mikkabi oranges
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I love Japanese Pears/梨・大好き

I love Japanese pears. Especially, Nijusseiki Nasi pears. It literally means "20th century pear". Last year, I could eat only a few 20the century pears but this year, I enjoy eating them.
Japanese pears

The right is a Housui(豊水;it means abundant water) pear and the right is a 20th century pear. The Japanese pears are rich in water and crisp texture is really good. I love them very much.

I remember a Swiss boy who once lived in Japan in his childhood was really impressed by the delicious Japanese pears.

If you haven't eaten any Japanese pears, I assure you, it worth trying. The more expensive ones you get, the more assured the taste is.

Densuke Watermelon/でんすけすいか

This summer, I tried Densuke watermelon for the fist time. It was more than a decades ago when I first knew this brand watermelon. It sold at a souvenir shop in Onuma and cost 5,000 yen. It was a surprising price,because normally a watermelon costs around a thousand yen. Since then, I wanted to try densuke watermelon once.

Finally, I found a densuke watermelon of 2,980 yen and made up my mind to buy one.


I ordered through Coop's home delivery service and it came in a box as you see the above photo. It was really delicious, but the grade was Yu(優). Yu is good, but there are higher grade of Shu(秀). It was so delicious that I was really curious about eating shu densuke.

So, I bought one again.

It was 2,980 yen, too. But it was the end of August and the price dropped luckily.

I didn't understand the difference between yu and shu actually, but both were delicious enough.


How about trying densuke suika next summer? Now it's time to taste Japanese pears and grapes!

Bekomochi making/べこもち作り

Have you ever eaten "bekomochi"? Bekomochi is only known among people of Tohoku and Hokkaido. Around the time of Tango-no-sekku, or May 5th, people eat this glutinous steamed sweet cake. You can get bekomochi at Japanese-style confection stores. Usually, their appearance is brown and white marble pattern and for the brown color, brown sugar is used.

Every year, my grandmother used to make bekomochi by herself. She used red-bean powder and coarse sugar(zarame, in Japanese) instead of brown sugar. She is too aged to make bekomochi for us, so I began to make bekomochi by myself. This year is the second challenge for me.

I use red bean powder sold at Marui department store and bekomochi flower sold at Uocho supermarket. Bekomochi flower is powdered sticky rice.
べこもち材料

A box of bekomochi flower is 500g, but it was too much to knead. 300g may be better. If you use 300g of bekomochi flower, the same amount of coarse sugar and one third of powdered red bean powder is needed.
bekomochi2011
The photo above is bekomochi I made this year.

There are a few theories why it was named bekomochi. One theory is that "beko" means cow and marble patterns look like the patterns of cows. "Mochi" means sticky rice cake.

If you live in Hakodate or its neighborhood, why don't you try bekomochi?


Spring delicacies/春のごちそう

Spring is a season for edible plants hunting. A friend of my aunt had collected a lot of watercress and I was give some of them.
watercress

The following day, my mother in law gave me Gyoja-ninniku, a wild plant which is also called Ainu-negi.
行者にんにく

I boiled and ate them with soy sauce. The photos below are the boiled Gyoja-ninniku and Azami, other edible plant.
おひたし

Gyoja-ninniku literally means ascetic's garlic. It has a pronounced odor and goes well with "Genghis Khan" mutton barbecue.
ジンギスカン

Mutton barbecue is a soul food for people of Hokkaido. But the mutton we ate was from New Zealand;p
生ラム

When gyoja-ninniku is grilled as below, you can eat it.
食べ頃アイヌネギ



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Akiko

Author:Akiko
Akiko lives in a city next to Hakodate and loves to drive around Hakodate and surrounding area. I hope people who visit or live in the Southwest area of Hokkaido come to love the area, too.
函館の隣町在住で道南エリアのドライブ大好きAkikoです。道南を訪れたり、住んでいる人が土地を好きになってくれたらなぁ、と思います。

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