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What to Eat: Fukinoto (Butterbur Shoots) & Bakke-Miso (Fukinoto Miso)
One of the biggest harbingers of the coming spring is the arrival of sansai.
Sansai or ‘mountain vegetables’ are wild plants and herbs that have been foraged from nature, traditionally from the mountainside. One of the most popular ‘sansai’ is the flowering shoots of the Japanese butterbur plant, called fukinoto.
‘Fukinoto‘ has a unique taste that is mildly astringent and bitter. This flavor tastes like spring to many Japanese people in the same way that pumpkin pie spices and peppermint conjures up images of fall/winter for many Americans. The plant can be seen growing wild all over the Hachinohe Area. It is commonly served as tempura and can be tasted at any local soba shop or Japanese restaurant that serves home-style cooking.
An interesting local specialty that utilizes fukinoto is called bakke-miso. Bakke-miso is a mixture of ground fukinoto and miso that is usually served as a topping for rice. But there is another interesting application that bakke-miso can be used for: as a topping for fresh tenpo-senbei. Tenpo-senbei are the soft fresh versions of the local Nanbu senbei (wheat cracker). They are eaten while still fresh and hot, making their texture more akin to bread.
If you can get your hands on fresh, hot tenpo-senbei and top it with locally made bakke-miso, you’ll have an amazingly delicious and very Hachinohe-esque feast on your hands!
What to See: The New Kabushima Marketplace Kabunya
Set to open on Friday, April 17, the new Kabushima marketplace Kabunya is located right next to the parking and rest area in front of Kabushima. This new facility will be home to an array of local products, themed goods, treats, and even local produce. Kabunya will also have a food and drink area where customers can eat local specialties. It is sure to be a great addition to the Kabushima area, so don’t forget to stop by when you visit the newly reopened Kabushima Shrine!
Notice: Due to COVID-19, the opening of Kabunya has been delayed indefinitely.
Address: Same-86 Samemachi, Hachinohe, Aomori
April 17, 2020 Delayed Indefinitely
Opening Hours: 10:00~17:00