Winter soba noodles in Horokanai hokkaido japan
Mr. Senmaru, soba grower, talks of winter soba
Winter is the season that d-glucose gets richer and flavor stands out. I am facing soba field everyday after repeated trial and error. Please enjoy winter soba in its home ground.
ーProduction of Soba
Weather is most important factor to grow soda, only 20% rely on grower’s effort. For that reason if growers do not work without sparing themselves
For instance spring is most concerned season to growers. Mid July growers try to maintain picture perfect soba flower scenery. Same time we pay attention to have best harvest. Soil condition varies field to field, amount of fertilizer and quantity of soba seeds have to be adjusted in order to sprout evenly. Soba does not like wet ground so we pay attention to keep ground drained well.
ーSoba in Horokanai
Horokanai has big temperature difference, as low as minus 30 C in winter and as high as 30 C in summer. That is an ideal climate condition to grow soba. This condition grows soba sturdy not ?
We are proud of number one production volume in Japan.
We are awarded from the fact that entire community is engaging in quality control such as collection, drying and fine adujustment.
Those efforts refine soba quality and supply products steady in market.
All soba growers are very proud of producing first class quality soba, everybody shows their devotion who else can grow this quality soba but them.
There is one of the episode that volunteers constructed observation deck for visitors so they can enjoy beautiful soba flowers from higher position. Town of Horokanai feels entire community is moving forward with soba production.
ーWinter soba noodles
Each individual has different taste to soba, it is hard to tell which one is most tasteful that makes soba is so unique thing.
For instance each soba restaurant creates slightly different flavor depending on how to mill.
You can taste a variety of soba flavors among soba restaurants in town.
Winter is the best time to eat soba because they form more glucose and distinguished flavor.
In that sense we want you to eat winter soba then you can enjoy best flavor in entire season.
We growers test our skills every single day in the field. Please come to Horokanai and eat rich flavored winter soba.
Kiritachi-Tei talks about Soba milling
In December soba seeds are ripen but still keep newly harvested flavor. They have more flavor and sweetness in body,It is a luxury item.
One of ideal conditions to serve tasty soba is to keep milled soba powder freshness as much as possible.
There are many ways in milling soba, no matter how you mill, each process affects its flavor.
Soba seeds vary in size and shape. In order to lessen worse yield rate, milling process requires careful seed selection, temperature control and fine tuning by human hands.
At process of stone milling, moisture and flavor dissipates quickly so we have to control speed and feeding amount.
Especially we use Horokanai original soba seed, Horominori, which is small and hard shell. It requires further adjustment in stone milling as compared to other kind. It is a very profound process.
ーKiritachitei and soba grown in Horokanai
Kiritachitei had started after succeeding my mother’s will. I refurbished old post office building. In this sense my mother’s dream has come true.
However I owe prosperity of business to all soba growers.
We had bad flooding recently but growers, JA and town of Horokanai did not give up hope and made non compromising efforts. As a result reputation of Horokanai soba rose, we can serve customers best quality soba every year.
ーTalking about Winter Soba
Mizumawashi is one of the procedures adding water to soba powder and it is most favorite part in noodle making.
The procedure is affected by moisture, room temperature and water temperature of the day. Winter is most difficult season in mizumawashi.
New soba serving in fall is another delicacy, many people like it. On the other hand it is not fully matured, customers may have impression that soba slightly smells grassy and less flavored.
Best time to eat soba is in January and February when soba gets matured with aroma and sweetness meanwhile it still maintains newly harvested freshness even after December.
Cold water in winter makes soba more sturdy and smooth biting (mouth watering).
Horokanai receives tons of snow in winter, much fewer visitors come to town. However anybody who comes Horokanai in winter and eats most tasteful soba is a real expert in soba eating. That opinion is recognized widely, eating soba in winter is most luxury things to do. We have many visitors for Wakasagi fishing, but we will not forget to advertise soba without being noticed.
Soba restaurant Yaemon speaks of winter soba
Newly harvested soba is ready to fully mature stage in winter. Old folks say its tasty flavor will increase more if you store properly. Soda noodles you make in winter give distinguished flavor. I want you to taste when it is best.
ーTalking of Soba by Yaemon and town of Horokanai
I started soba restaurant when I was 50. When I was a salesman of major flour trading company, I was in charge of import soba grains and also I tried to eat at many soba restaurants every day. So soba was a part of my life in a sense. I helped kitchen at soba restaurant in Asahikawa where I cut soba first time. It turned out so good, I felt some
fate with soba. I begun going to library and studied about soba through reading old lietatures. After that I moved in Horokanai and started soba restaurant.
ーTalking of Soba
Most exciting moment while cutting soba is the moment I place cutting knife on soba dough. If soba is not best state It does not look neat in cutting appearance. Then I see uneven slices overall. So you come and eat soba during winter, I often serve best soba I guarantee from my heart.
ー On winter soba
Important things on soba making are neither freshly out of mill, freshly ground nor freshly cut. As a matter fact its taste gets better laying one hour, time is a critical factor for soba.
Old literature is mentioning how to preserve soba, a interesting line written in the era of no refrigerator is found that noodles were left idle for a while then they turned into mature stage with rich flavor.
We also found newly milled soba has a bitter state and makes you sick.
Maturing is seen on everything, freshness is not always better. If thing is well preserved, it increases much more flavor. You can say the same thing on soba as well.
We are serving soba to customers that we are very much confident that winter soba is most tasteful. Please come and visit Horokanai in best season to have best soba.
ーAbout Noodle Highway
You can enjoy soba restaurants on soba highway in Yamagata even though distance among them is far apart one another. each restaurant
In early days those soba experts who learned they can eat first class soba drove up as far as Yamagata with chauffer.
Once those soba experts came and eat there, it spread word so quickly. As a result over hundred thousand visitors were flooded in the area.
We are very much confident of serving best soba. Those soba experts will not disappointed with its taste.
I hope this soba highway project gets permanent establishment among the public.