‘local sweet’ カテゴリーのアーカイブ

Tochi-mochi rice cake, a souvenir of a local sweet

2012年12月1日 土曜日

Tochinoki is translated into English as Japanese horse chestnut Aesculus. Aesculus seeds were traditionally eaten by the Jomon people. The Jomon people lived in Japan about 4 millennia ago until 300 AD. Aesculus seeds become edible after complicated processing of leaching. The seeds have acrid taste and can’t be eaten without processing.

I found crushed seeds in bags being soaked in a running water at Shirakawago village on September 29 and November 8.

A high degree of technique such as soaking the seeds in a running water and boiling them in a water mixed with ash is needed to extract bitter taste. Tochinoki seeds saved people from famine during the Edo and early Meiji period. There are many places which have the name related to Tochi throughout Japan. Tochinomi is used as an ingredient for Tochinomi-senbei, Tochinomi rice cracker and Tochi-mochi, Tochimochi rice cake.

Tochinomi is rich in starch and bigger than acorn, and was regarded as the seeds for longevity. Tochinoki seeds are reviewed as a nutritious ingredient at a time when people are eating to their hearts’ content.