Fresh Kyo-Yasai, Get over this hot summer!!
How are you all enjoying this summer?
I guess many of you are suffering from this hot weather, aren’t you?
Kyoto is a city of basin surrounded by mountains.
So, only stale air circulate around the city of Kyoto because mountains do not let fresh air come into the city.
Summer in Kyoto is super hot and humid…
Some of you should be having a problem of summer lethargy…
Then, this time, I would like to introduce fresh Kyo-Yasai which even those having summer lethargy can easily eat!!
Kyoto tradition, Kyo-Yasai
Kyo-Yasai is a Japanese word meaning Kyoto-vegetable.
Those Kyo-Yasai are having original shapes, colors and high nutrition as their features, compared to ordinal vegetables. Therefore, those Kyo-Yasai are being exported to all over Japan today.
All the vegetables from Kyoto can be called Kyo-Yasai in general because there is no such a definition of ‘Kyo-Yasai’.
However, there are two types of vegetables in the classification of ‘Kyo-Yasai’, which are ‘Traditional Kyo-Yasai’ and ‘Brand Kyo-Yasai’.
According to JA Kyoto (Japan Agricultural Cooperatives), ‘Traditional Kyo-Yasai’ are
- ones having history of introduction before Meiji era
- ones from not only from the city of Kyoto, but the prefecture of Kyoto
- ones including bamboo shoots
- ones excluding kinds of mushrooms and fiddlehead ferns
- ones including ones being cultivated, preserved and became extinct
Moreover, according to JA Kyoto, ‘Brand Kyo-Yasai’ are
‘Traditional Kyo-Yasai’ having following those 4 points
（1）A high standard for brand approval
（2）High enough amount of production for market circulation
（3）Excluding vegetables only for process
（4）A need to pass an examining meeting of intellectuals
Then, I would like to list up and introduce some of Kyo-Yasai from now.
Firstly, Kyo-Yasai from Maizuru/Kyoto, ‘Manganzi Tougarashi’.
Tougarashi is a Japanese word meaning capsicum or chili pepper.
I guess many people have thoughts that peppers are supposed to be ‘spicy’.
We sometimes eat it as condiments, sometimes put tons of them into spicy Szechuan food!!
However, this Manganzi-Torgarashi is not spicy at all although it seems to be spicy.
You can easily cook it and eat because recipes for it are all easy!! All you need is just to bake or fry to make it look great.
In addition, it not only has thick and very soft pulp, but also it doesn’t have much seeds and is a bit sweet. Since it is huge, it is called ‘king of capsicum’.
Moreover, it could help you suffering from the summer heat because it contains a lot of calcium, vitamin C, fiber and so on!!
Secondly, green soybean of summer edition from Tanba/Kyoto, ‘Kyo-Natsuzukin’
a kind of green soybean which goes best with beer,
this is relatively bigger and having richer taste compared to ordinal green soybeans.
Besides, this has not only sweetness but also springy texture!!
You can enjoy it as nibble of beer, but also as salad!!
It contains vitamin C or calcium in addition to protein.
An eggplant from Kamigamo/Kyoto, ‘Kamo-nasu’
Nasu is a Japanese word meaning eggplant.
Kamo-nasu is one of the most well-known Kyo-Yasai!!
The reason is because of its massive presence.
How heavy it looks!!
As you can see, the features of this vegetable are its bigger size and circular in shape comparing to usual eggplants.
Nasu-Dengaku should be the best recipe for this vegetable.
Dengaku is a Japanese original way to cook. You put red-miso, sake, sugar and sweet cooking rice wine together, and spread it on a eggplant which is already cut into two and fried before.
It is enormously tasty….
Lastly, Kyo-Yasai from Kuzyo/Kyoto, ‘Kuzyo-negi’
Negi is a Japanese word meaning green onion.
Kuzyo-negi has been cultivated around Kuzyo, where is a southern part of Kyoto, for 1300 years.
Although green onions in East part of Japan are mainly white ones, green onions form Kuzyo area are literally ‘green onion’. Leaves of Kuzyo-negi, which is green, have plenty of vitamin B and carotene.
This vegetable is personally one of my best among Kyo-yasai…..the ways to use it for meals are really wide-ranging, such as for miso soup, simmered meat and potatoes, hotpot and sukiyaki!!!!
For those hot days in summer, why don’t you try it with thin wheat noodles that is very popular summer meal in Japan??
So, that is the end of Kyo-yasai introduction.
I strongly recommend you to eat very fresh Kyo-yasai when you come visit Kyoto!!!
Tags: Culture, Famous, Summer