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Jan. 25, 2014 | Posted in Blog, Others | Tags:
Staff Blog≫ ‘Mamma mia,’ Italians love taste of ‘washoku’ at Japanese food fair

FLORENCE–Officials from Japan’s agriculture ministry were singing the praises of traditional Japanese ingredients at a food fair here in Tuscany, a region in central Italy with a rich history in wine and the culinary arts.

Afterward, so were the Italian tasters.

In the event that kicked off Jan. 21, participants sampled dishes such as roasted pork with “oboro konbu,” or kelp that is shaved into thin sheets, and tripe dressed with sauce mixed with “shoyu” (soy sauce). The dishes were prepared with ingredients from Japan and Italy.

The food fair in Florence comes just one month after “washoku” (traditional Japanese cuisine) was added to the UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage list.

Fabio Picchi, a chef at Florence’s Cibreo restaurant, spent three months developing the menu for the event.

“I was impressed by every one of the food materials from Japan,” said Picci, who added that oboro konbu was one of his favorites, calling it “cashmere from the sea.”

“I am really grateful to him for his remarks,” she said.

A Italian grape farmer said he liked the “shio-katsuo,” or salted bonito, a traditional specialty from Izu Peninsula in Shizuoka Prefecture, after sampling it with Japanese rice wine.

He said shio-katsuo has the right concentration of “umami,” or deliciousness.

The event will be held through Jan. 23.


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