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THE WONDERFUL FOOD OF AICHI

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“Spaghetti alla puttanesca” in Naples. New York’s “hot dog”. The “feijoada” in Rio de Janeiro. The “macarons” of Paris. And so on. Each city in the world has its own trademark culinary wonder. With Aichi, it could not be different. But here, the very heart of Japan, place to where everybody must come if they want to move from one side of the country to the other, even the repertoire has a name of its own. An extensive description of all the extraordinary local cuisine, the “Ten Commandments Tablets”, if you will, which summarizes all that is utterly important, under a single name. The people of Aichi Prefecture proudly presents: The “Nagoya Meshi”.

Aichi's food culture has always been recognized as unique, but as of recently, with everybody seemingly looking for new and more tasteful eats, Aichi is focus of long overdue attention. For some, the roots of the high profile are due to the culture of its peculiar brew of soy paste “miso”, soy sauce and fermented rice condiment “mirin”, among others. For example, while regular miso generally loses flavor when boiled, Aichi's soybean miso is a miracle seasoning that actually gets tastier the longer it is simmered. The local foods that typify Aichi, such as miso broth noodles “miso-nikomi udon”, miso broth winter dish “miso-oden” and breaded pork cutlets with miso sauce “miso-katsu”, all use this special variation of soybean miso, and all involve simmering.

Adding to all this is the lively curiosity of Aichi's natives which resulted in ingenuous inventions like the “Hitsumabushi” and “ogura toast”, a multitude of ingredients skillfully matched to create new flavors, styles and cultures.

AICHI’S GASTRONOMIC LEGACIES, THE “NAGOYA MESHI”

This term, a combination of Aichi’s capital name with the Japanese word for “meal”, expresses all food that is truly “Aichi”, and therefore inherently tasty, distinctive, rich, strong, traditional and nutritive. Or else, how would you stand 40ºC summers and -10ºC winters?
Or from where would you take the energy and minerals needed to walk the wide and spacious avenues and boulevards, or to face all the entertainment the land has to offer?
Here you will be able to find the most venerated and crucial concoctions of the Aichi people’s diet, which is matter of much debate and concern in their daily routine, and target of envy and desire by other prefectures – a trend recently accentuated as “Nagoya Meshi” exponentially gains country-wide attention.

WAIT! THERE IS MORE TO AICHI THAN JUST NAGOYA!”

But wait. “Nagoya Meshi” does not always necessarily mean that a particular delicacy was actually born in Nagoya. It sometimes means that the Aichi people found a dish so good, and so lovable, they decided to adopt as theirs. Take for instance the “Seto Yakisoba” and the “Hekinan Yakisoba”, both adapted to soy sauce in detriment of Worcestershire sauce: obviously not born in Aichi, but so appreciated by its people that it currently holds undeniable importance for their daily lives. Do they use English sauce? Not a drop: at some point in time, ingenuity or need demanded that soy sauce be used. The rest, is legend.