Friday, November 29, 2019

Fukui Food Culture Festival 2019

Last week, I had been invited to the Fukui Food Culture Festival in Thailand that held at The Okura Hotel on 21th of November 2019.

Well, I love to travel to Japan, but there are many places that I don't know (and many things that I still didn't have a chance to eat, haha).

And Fukui Prefecture (福井県) is one of them. Fukui Prefecture (福井県) is located in the Chūbu region of Honshū. This Prefecture is packed with natural beauty, traditional culture and delicious food.

Kanpai! With BENICHU 20° (Plum wine)

Before start tasting =eatting ^^, we had a chance to see the most famous crab from Fukui: Echizen Crab, Echizen crab is a snow crab which is very juicy and sweet (well, I never ate it before)  It is Japan’s only regional crab considered fit to offer to the imperial family. As it's the best-known crab from Fukui, it's one of the biggest prizes for the lucky draw. 

In this exhibition, we came here to eat! There were many booths in this exhibition, all of them came from Fukui Prefecture, to present the delicious food that some of them can only be found in Fukui.

The first thing that caught my eye was the bright red bottle.

It's a 100% tomato juice, that made from Koshi no Ruby. The mini tomato from Fukui Prefecture, that has very high sugar content.

It can be enjoyed in many forms, not only eating fresh, Koshi no Ruby tomato dressing is a great idea, as you can use it as a salad dressing or cold pasta sauce too.

One of the most delicious Japanese sweet that I like is Mochi, so I didn't hesitate to try Habutae Mochi (羽二重餅) by Aratama Seika Inc. 

Habutae Mochi is a local wagashi, the name originates from Habutae, a type of silk produced in Fukui prefecture. It's soft and sweet mochi, covered with Kinako (soybeans roasted powder). It's one of the best selling souvenirs from Fukui prefecture, and it's very delicious!!!

Not only a traditional wagashi but there was also a variation.

This is the Habutae Mochi that has a dark chocolate filling.

But if you're not a mochi people, hehe, you can enjoy the fresh and bright taste of Jelly.

That made from golden plum, too.

After a load of sweetness, it's time for me to drink something delicious.

Actually, it's the reason why I came here, haha.
The good natural water source is very important for making good Sake, and it's the reason why Fukui's Sake is very delicious.

I tried many shots of sake from Obama Sake Brewery.

Started from Junmai Wakasa, a clean and sweet taste Sake that's very easy to drink and pair with food.

And Kumagawajuku (熊川宿-くまがわじゅく), a lighter sake that made with soft water.
If you have an interest in Sake making, you can visit Obama Sake Brewery for 酒蔵見学 (Sake brewery study tour) by calling (+81-770-64-5473) or contact the Obama Sake Brewery to make a reservation, as the brewery is quite small, only 10-15 peoples can attend per one Sake brewery study tour. 

After Sake, I thought I needed some real food, ^^. And Anago Sushi was right there. It came it frozen form but after thawing, it became soft and very delicious.

Another sushi made from Echizen shrimp was very good too. It's a kind of Amaebi Shrimp (sweet shrimp) from Mikuni port that's very very sweet in taste ^^.

"Echizen soba" is buckwheat noodles (soba) with grated Japanese radish, it's a famous local soba dish from Fukui.

Because Fukui's weather is suited for growing buckwheat, and buckwheat that harvested in Fukui is mainly local variety. It has a small grain with a depth of flavor and aroma. With a traditional millstone that grinds buckwheat, both flavor and aroma won't be damaged.

Not only Soba, but Fukui is also the birthplace of Koshihikari rice, the most popular rice variety sold in Japan. 

The main reason that makes Fukui rice delicious is the water and weather.

Turn it into a simple Onigiri (rice-ball) was the best way to show the real taste of this delicious rice!!

It's time for another shot of Umeshu (Plum wine), there were 2 types of Umeshu from BENICHU. Both of them made from Benisashi plum (紅さし梅) a rare variety of plum in Fukui Prefecture.  
First BENICHU 20°, with only 20% of alcohol, and lightly sweet taste, it's very easy to drink.

But I think  BENICHU 38° is more interesting, it's non-sugar plum wine, with a sour taste of plum, it's great for sipping slowly ^^.

Kawaiiness (super cuteness) is one of Japanese identity, haha.

This wagashi package came with a drawing from a famous Japanese artist: 藤岡ちさ.

A cute souvenir, that I wish I can have some !!!.

For Fukui, it's not only food that makes Fukui special. Art and culture in Fukui have a long history too. The history of Echizen lacquerware goes back to the end of the Kofun period (250-538) approximately 1500 years ago. Echizen (a city located in Fukui Prefecture) is one of the oldest Japanese lacquerware production districts in Japan. 

I think that from beautiful art and craft from the past, a new design Sake cup is born. This Tri Tura (トリチュラ) blown glass Sake cup is one of the art that I really want to buy.  

After a lot of Sake, and food, it's the time for farewell. If you ask me I thought I'm lucky that I didn't get the Crab from the Lucky draw, haha. Because after this exhibition I had to go to attend a baking class for 4 days.

And another reason was I got this Junmai Daiginjo Inagoe, haha.

For me, it's a great opportunity to try something new, and meet a lot of people.

I wish that I will have a chance to visit Fukui in the near future.

Thank you Aratama Seika's staff for giving me the delicious Habutae Mochi (羽二重餅).

Thank you Mushroom travel, for inviting me.

And most of all Thank you, Fukui, I will go to see you soon.

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