Monday, January 2, 2012

Iwate's Food Culture (2)

Mochi Bunka (Rice Cake Culture)

In Japan, we have the customs of eating rice cake for most of seasonal events and the congratulations or condolence. And speaking of Japanese New Year's dishes, it could be called Osechi and Mochi dishes(ryōri).

It seems that mochi ryōri was a main dish more than osechi ryōri since old times to New Year's dishes especially in the Ichinoseki district.

Ichinoseki is known for Japan as an area with the most abundant kinds of mochi dishes. The numbers are said to be about from 200 to 300 sorts. And the custom of eating rice cake in this district in the annual events reaches also more than 60 days a year. That such rice cake culture started going back till the Edo period.

Especially, “Mochi Honzen” is a rice cake dish peculiar to this district. It imitates the Japanese honzen cuisine form by rice cake.
There are Anko mochi(rice cake with red bean paste) and different types of mochi, Zōni, pickles and grated Japanese radish on the meal tray. And There are regular manners in the way of eating.

The old days, the southern Iwate around this area was the territory of the Date han. At the farmhouses, they have the custom to pray for peace and good health and took rest the 1st and 15th every month. At that time, it is said that the people offered a rice cake to God by the order of the feudal lord.

Above picture is the rice cake dish which I had at my house on New Year's day.

By the way, although some people are believing in public, it is not true all people of Ichinoseki have a machine of pounding mochi at each home.

If you would like to try the mochi cuisine, you should stop by one of the restaurants in Ichinoseki after Geibikei's boat trip. And the lists are below:
蔵元レストラン せきのいち (Kuramoto Restaurant Sekinoichi)
Address: 5-42 Tamura-cho, Ichinoseki, Iwate 021-0885
       Tel: 0191-21-1144 

三彩館 ふじせい (Sansaikan Fujisei)
Address: 3-53 Otsukigai, Ichinoseki, Iwate 021-0882
       Tel: 0191-23-4536 / Fax: 0191-23-4537

カフェ・モンテ (Cafe Monter)
Address: 2F Higashi Koryu Centre
             2-5 Yanagimachi, Ichinoseki, Iwate
Tel/Fax : 0191-26-7300

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