Japan is a nation of islands, from the four main chunks of land alongside the hundreds of tiny spots floating about the nation. These areas produce unique flavors and foods, and this month in Wowbox’s Prefecture Box we spotlight two with island ties, taking us from the inland sea to the tropical islands on the far west corner of the archipelago.
Dotting The Map
Quick geography lesson to help set the stage — Japan is an island country, featuring four main islands. Go a little deeper and you’ll see there are far more islands from the top to the bottom of the country. The official count stands at 6852 islands making up Japan. While many are uninhabited, the others feature unique local culture and their own culinary delights.
Hiroshima - Lemon Of The Sea
Located in Hiroshima Prefecture, Setoda city sits on Ikuchi Island, part of the Seto Inland Sea between the main island of Honshu and Shikoku. Pastry chef Ryuzo Okumoto uses lemons from this region — which produces the most lemons in all of Japan — in making these delectable Setoda Lemon Manju (buns).
In order to keep the natural lemon flavor, Ryuzo insisted on manually peeling and separating the pulp from the peel. The pulp is squeezed out of high-concentration lemon juice, while the peel is cooked into a rich jam. You can feel the fresh aroma present by the persisting handwork.
These desserts feature a sharp taste of lemon inside, and help capture a taste Setoda has cultivated for over a century.
Okinawa - Worlds Colliding In The Pacific Ocean
The Okinawa island chains in the western part of Japan have developed a unique culinary environment, combining local ingredients only found in their region with international tastes that have migrated into the area over the centuries.
Raw Mozuku Sea Vegetable
This special brand of chips Ikaajiten brings those two sides together in one tasty bag of snack. They use the famed Mozuku seaweed — renowned for all of the minerals found within it.
Ikaajiten uses fried squid as base adding mozuku & taco rice, 2 Okinawa iconic flavors, to create this unique snack.
Here, they get merged with another Okinawa flavor favorite — spicy taco rice, a beloved local creation. Using squid as the base, this chips combines 2 Okinawa iconic flavors -- Mozuku and Taco Rice for a unique fusion of flavors. This is a special treat that could only come from Okinawa!
These are only two examples of how Japan’s islands have created their own special flavors, but two of the finest for your snacking needs. Get Prefecture Box by Jan 31 to taste these unique & authentic Japanese island flavors!
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