Sunday, June 05, 2005

Sunday Market in June

Today I visited the Sunday Market to look for some zucchinis. Here’s some pics of the things they sell there in June (or throughout the year.)


Ume plums

Ume (Japanese plums) are in season now. People buy these green ume plums for making umeboshi (pickled plums) or umeshu (plum wine --- or I think it’s actually “liqueur” rather than “wine," to be precise).


Tomatoes--- Yes, you read the price right.

Now, don’t be surprised with the price of these tomatoes. These tomatoes, often beautifully packed in boxes to be sent as gifts, are the special kind that we almost worship. They are surprisingly sweet, fruit-like tasting, top-quality tomatoes called “Tokutani tomatoes.” They became known throughout Japan (thanks to some gourmet TV programs) and now making a big contribution to the income of this prefecture.

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Sellfish

The colorful ones in the center are called “Chotaro-gai.” It is said that they were named after a local? fisherman.


Crabs

They kept trying to get out of the bamboo basket. I wonder what they taste like...


Takuan ... with strong smell

These takuan (pickled daikon) are prepared in a traditional way and taste very good, but have such strong smell… I’m used to it, but I can imagine that some people, especially those from foreign countries may have trouble with the smell.


Gumi (This photo was taken in my bathroom)

When I googled for the English name of this fruit, I was surprised to find that it was called Gumi outside Japan, too.
We used to have a gumi tree near my parents’ veg. garden when I was a kid. I remember eating gumi until my tongue felt strange around this time of the year. Gumi is very astringent when immature, and even after it is ripe, there’s still a subtle astringent taste left in the skin. But I liked gumi and I was so sad when the tree was hit by lightning one summer.

I bought this branch of gumi today feeling nostalgic, but these gumi are still so astringent. Errrrr…. I put the branch in a water-filled wash tub in my bathroom and took the photo there. I guess I need to wait for a couple more days.


Well, it was pretty hot today when I was walking around at the market. Summer is coming soon...
Oh, yes, I bought some zucchinis. I'm ready for another experiment.... ;)

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

obachan;
The produce in the market looks so fresh and wonderful I can almost smell the odors. I would love to be there to shop daily for my food instead of weekly and not fresh. I love NUKA pickles, do people still do that in Japan or only in markets? Takuan would be a welcome smell right now....
Ahhhh....you are so fortunate to live where you do.... 

Posted by Carlyn

Anonymous said...

gumi looks like sour cherries....Ha....I don't know about gumi...

stuffed zucchini? zucchini bread? Zucchini parmesan is the best!!! Just slice lengthwise and bread (bake or fry) and assemble just like eggplant with sauce and cheese> Hmmmmmmm.... 

Posted by carlyn

Anonymous said...

Caryln, you and I are practically stalkers of this website created by our friend Obachan! These days I work on the computer and I constantly check the weblogs around the world and see what people are up to, and looking at Obachan's website is like traveling to Japan with a great friend without moving a finger! Obachan, even if you start to charge a fee to view your blog, I'd pay for it. That's how good it is, and you should really be a professional cook/photographer writer. Maybe you should start a tour service.

Frequently I think it's great to be alive in this age and in this world. Women have gotten more choices and rights. Birth control exists. Men are more enlightened. Internet lets you do so many creative things. Learning never stops. The information age has arrived and we're the first to experience it. Isn't it wonderful? We who live in the US are so priviliged.

There is a terrific little sushi restaurants by my house called Yama. It's owned by a Korean. But, the sushi chefs are all Japanese. They are young men, with a head band over their foreheads. Very cheerfully they will exclaim something at you in unison whenever there is a patron walking in, and then they will shout something equally friendly when you leave. I don't have a clue as to what they say exactly but I suspect they say something like "welcome," and "so long/thank you." I love eating the Toro and the White Tuna sashimi there. The food is really good, and the atmosphere is pleasant, subdued, and calming. After a long day at work, I go there to relax and treat myself body and soul. Everything is made of wood, and the minute you walk in you feel so relaxed and in the mood to enjoy some good fish. More Unagi...please.
Another great sushi place that I love, perhaps even more than Yama, is Hana in Cambridge Massachusettes.
They put a really thick piece of really fresh fish on a smaller pad of rice. They also dab a little bit of lemon on some pieces. The sushi is served at room temperature, and maybe even a little warm sometimes.
Never have I tasted frozen fish, or refrigerated rice.

I hope they have sushi in heaven.


 

Posted by joanna

Anonymous said...

> Carlyn --- Some people do make nuka pickles at home. There were times that younger housewives just hated and quit doing it, but recently, maybe because of the “slow-food, slow-life” thing?, more of the younger people are interested in making home-made preserves and pickles in traditional ways. Zucchini parmesan sounds so good. I gotta give it a try someday!

> Joanna --- Oh, I’m afraid of stalkers but I do welcome this kind of stalkers :D Honestly, I still can’t believe that anyone enjoys my posts so much, especially when they are written in my poor English! I can't do much but if a little thing I do like blogging can make someone feel happy, I'm very grateful.
Sushi is definitely my favorite and I do feel that I’m happy to be living in this world that has sushi. I can’t afford to go to good sushi restaurants, but even kaiten-zushi (conveyer belt sushi bar) makes me feel heavenly. 

Posted by obachan

Anonymous said...

joanna;
Yes, I guess I am a "stalker" of sorts....I love obachan's blog....So beautifully written and photographed.....
Obachan, you are amazing. It brings me back to Japan in a most wonderful way second to actually being there.. Domo arigato 

Posted by carlyn

Anonymous said...

Hey Carlyn,
Do itashimashite. Anytime ;) 

Posted by obachan

Anonymous said...

I love the pictures.. Obachan..!! they are lovely..! love the gumis too..!! but the tomatoes are so EX..!! would take alot outta me.. to buy them.. hahaha!!  

Posted by MrsT

Anonymous said...

Hi MrsT,
Believe me. Though being a citizen of Kochi, I have never ever bought a Tokutani tomato in my entire life yet. 

Posted by obachan

Anonymous said...

in searching for a recipe for umeshu, i stumbled onto your site. i miss kochi (especially the food). thanks for the pics of nichiyobi. 

Posted by sansei

Anonymous said...

Hi sansei,
Welcome to my blog : ) So you've been to Kochi? Things haven't changed much here.  

Posted by obachan

Anonymous said...

yes, my family roots are kochi and tosa.
the favorite pics in my album are of women making kamaboko, the roosters closer to the castle and the view from the castle of blue tarps and cherry blossoms. my pics of the statue of ryu sakamoto didn't turn out. i miss the taste of roasted japanese sweet potatoes from the market and buntan (spelling?), the hybrid grapefruit, from the tree; flavors unique to the region. 

Posted by sansei

Anonymous said...

Looks like you have many pics with fond memories of Kochi. I'm glad to hear that. Yep, you spelled buntan right. I love buntan, too. Come visit my blog whenever you miss Kochi :)  

Posted by obachan

Melissa Morrow said...

Can anyone please tell me where i can order a gumi tree ?
swampflower1@yahoo.com.

obachan said...

Hi Melissa,
I googled for you, but all I could find was gumi seeds. You want a gumi tree, right?
Hope someone sends you the information you want.