As the beauty of fall in Japan is in full affect, the mountains are additionally blessed with a variety of gastronomic ingredients bursting with a myriad of unique flavors. The fall harvest season In Japan is described as "Fall Appetite" because cooler months increase people's appetite when they are surrounded with the bounty of delicious seasonal ingredients. Make the most of your visit to check out these seasonal treasures.
Here's a list of some of the best fall foods to discover in Japan.
The Matsutake mushroom is confidently called the king of the fall in terms of flavor. Its aroma and taste is outstanding and fascinating. Matsutake means "pine" mushroom and the domestic Matsutake mushrooms grow under the Japanese red pines. They certainly differ from other mushroom such as Shimeji and Shiitake due to the fact the artificial cultivation of the Matsutake mushroom is difficult. This sparsity, along with their rich fragrance, makes their prices expensive. They are the highlight of many autumn menus such as rice cooked with Matsutake (Matsutake gohan). Many people enjoy them best grilled and sprinkled with a touch of citrus and soy sauce.
Kuri are Japanese chestnuts that feature a pleasantly sweet taste and a refined texture. The chestnut flowers bloom in early summer, and are harvest in the fall. When the harvest season arrives, you can see several chestnut dishes in restaurants and shops such as chestnut rice, called "Kurigohan" and a traditional Japanese confectionary, "Kurikinton," made of mashed chestnuts.
Shinmai means new rice and coincides with the first fall harvest. It is then milled and packed by the end of the year. The taste of Shinmai is very distinguished because of the moist texture and aroma, a taste worth trying if you are visiting Japan in the fall. Enjoy Shinmai with the aforementioned fall dishes like Matsutake or Chestnut rice.
Loved by many people, Kaki (Japanese persimmons) are both sweet and bitter and come to season during fall in Japan. Persimmons have unique juicy textures. The bitterness is a result of tannins which can also be found in wine. If the tannin dissolves in your mouth, you taste bitterness and if it does not, you taste sweetness. Bitter persimmons can turn to a delightfully sweet taste by drying them under the sun, called "Hoshigaki."
Sanma, or Pacific Saury is a typical fish eaten during the fall in Japan. Sanma has a rich oily flavor and is very popular because of its reasonable price and abundant nutritional traits. They become deliciously sweet as they gain fat when the weather turns colder. Sanma can be enjoyed in various typical ways like sashimi, sushi and are indeed tasty grilled. Grilled Sanma with salt is called "Sanma no Shioyaki" and is best enjoyed with grained daikon radishes, lime juice and soy sauce.
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