Ichigo vs strobelli (Mac 20)
NOTE : Something wrong with my notebook. I can access blogger smoothly from another notebook, but not my own. At first I thought it was the problem of blogger itself, but it lasted for 3 days... abnormal. So, now I confirmed the problem is my computer. It just show "invalid request". I dun know what is the problem. I wish someone can help me. Here is the supposed-to-be-up 2-day ago post. :(
Ichigo (苺) a.k.a strawberry in Japan usually is displayed in the market starting year end until early spring. I seldom eat strawberry as it is an expensive fruit for me. Still remember when I first year in Japan, hardly eat fruit as when I converted them into Malaysian Ringgit, owez ended up I withdrew my hand from them.
However, after quite some time, I finally managed to remind myself, buy things using Japanese Yen counting, dun convert them in Malaysian Ringgit. :P Still, if I see banana, papaya and pineapple... usually I won't buy them. 2 reasons : Not worth the price, not worth the taste.
Once a very long while, I will buy fresh nice strawberry of higher quality to spoil myself.
Like this one. I bought this pack for 598 yen (RM21). The species is called Amaou (甘王), that was officially debut in 2003 into the market. In fact, in 1998, following the USA and Spain, Japan has became the 3rd largest strawberry production country.
The name Amaou was formed from 5 words :
Akai (赤い) - Red
MAarui (丸い) - Round
Ookii (大きい) - Big
Umai (美味い) - Delicious
Amaou is a higher quality that fish fish only started to taste this season. Before that, I usually just buy Tonoyoka (とよのか), which I've been very satisfied with. In fact, ichigo in Japan very sweet and fresh compared to the important one in Malaysia. However, I had one very sweet strawberry when I went for a trip in Cameron Highlands few years back.
On one nice Sunday, promised with Sylvia and Miyuki to have lunch in Kanematsu (かね松）, a very famous shop that sell high quality vegetable from around Japan, especially from Kyoto. They oso has restaurant part whereby you can taste the authentic Kyoto vege meal. However, we didn't make reservation earlier, so the fastest we can have our turn was 1530. Hmm... we decided to change our venue for lunch.
However, a few boxes of Ichigo that were nicely displayed in the shop attracted Sylvia so much. See the box? It was weaved from real bamboo leaves. In Japan, bamboo is a branded plant.
In fact, in Japan Sho.Chiku.Bai (松竹梅) is known as the 3 Kiju (喜樹), the most top ranked plants, which happened to be a homophone to 喜寿 (meaning age 77, a very important age in Japan). Take (竹, bamboo) is ranked number 2 after the Matsu (松, pine tree), and the 3rd is Ume (梅, plum tree).
The Japanese use this 3 terms so often, especially in doing business for classified the rank of a Kaiseiki meal (懐石料理), type of room in a traditional Japanese Inn etc.
Unlike in Malaysia, where ones can easily enjoy bamboo dish... In Japan, a true Japanese bamboo shoot is a branded food that can only be enjoyed in Spring.
While in Malaysia, I can easily get this huge bunch of bamboo for around RM2, or even for free... The Japanese need to pay 18000yen (RM630) for this super high quality bamboo shoot. Even in market, the cheapest Japanese bamboo shoot would cost at least 500yen (RM18) for one small bamboo shoot.
My nice quality red red Amaou. This was soooo sweet, with minimum degree of sourness. Whenever I put a big whole Amaou into my mouth, I can really feel I am such a lucky gal.
However, the evil temptation from Sylvia defeated fish fish's rationality.
"Fish Fish, come, share one box of this. U half, me half." Sylvia suggested all in sudden.
"Errr... you kidding Sylvia?? That's too expensive." At first, I rejected.
"Come on lar~ Once in a lifetime mar~ Who knows if you are going to have anymore chance to eat one if you miss this once." Hmm... the persuasive talk.
*Yah hor~ This might be my last year in Japan*
*think*... *Think*... *THINK*
In the end...
:P This, a box of Momoichigo (ももいちご) finally belonged to us. 3000yen (RM 105) for 6. -_-" Ever seen ichigo packed in this way? The branded Ichigo, was divided among Sylvia and me. So, I actually paid ~RM53 for 3 Momoichigo. They disappeared in minutes into my stomach after my 3 big bites.
Frankly speaking, I was quite disappointed with the sweetness, it was not even as sweet as Amaou. However, I was very impressed with the texture of the flesh. A very compact, densed and fine flesh. Very fine that the fibrous texture of Ichigo was hard to be detected. It was very juicy. The reason why it is called Momoichigo is because the look like a momo (peach) and much bigger than normal ichigo. This momoichigo can only be found in a village in Tokushima prefecture.
Well, at least the texture gave me a new view on "Strawberry". ;)
Before we left Kanematsu, I spotted a few ladies wearing Kimono doing there shopping. But what I really want to show here is their masks (as shown in yellow arrow). In spring, you will notice a lot of people in Japan wear mask like this. The reason is - hay fever that caused by mass pollen production by Suginoki (杉の木, Japanese cedar). In fact, it is getting more serious each year that it is said this year 1 out of 5 Japanese is attacked by this cedar's pollen.
A long story for why Japan is common with hay fever today. Too lazy to tell here.
However, I'm praying hard that I wouldn't be added up to the recent percentage. *touch wood*