- Main lore areas
All over the prefecture
- Main ingredients used
- History/origin/related events
Saitama Prefecture, which produced Aizo Gonda, who devoted himself to the development of high-yield cultivation methods that increased wheat yields by four to five times, such as "barley steeping," is one of the leading udon kingdoms in Japan. Udon production is the second largest in Japan (according to the "Annual Report on Statistical Survey on Production of Rice and Wheat Processed Foods" by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries in 2009), and although it has been decreasing compared to the past, it is still a major wheat-producing prefecture. In the past, wheat was widely grown in Saitama Prefecture as a back crop to rice. As a result, wheat has become a central part of the diet, and each region has developed a rich variety of foods using wheat. For example, in the northeastern part of the prefecture, udon noodles are handmade and have a strong and smooth texture; in the western part, udon noodles are served with dipping sauce and have a very strong texture and a brownish color; and in the central part of the prefecture, udon noodles are served along the riverside and are wide and chewy. The number of local dishes and "B-rank gourmet" foods that have taken root in the area since ancient times is said to number more than 20 in total. Today, in order to differentiate udon from other regions and express uniqueness, regional names and words that express characteristics are often added, but in the past, udon was almost always called "udon" in all regions.
- Opportunities and times of eating habits
Udon has been eaten on various occasions, including weddings, funerals, and annual events, as well as as as a daily food for farmers who grow wheat.
- How to eat
Add salt and water to wheat flour and knead well to a dough the consistency of earlobes. Let the dough rest and then stretch it with a rolling pin, adjusting the thickness and width according to the type of udon. Boil in boiling water until the noodles are transparent, then drain in a colander and serve with the respective dipping sauces. Some udon noodles are boiled together with vegetables and other ingredients.
- Efforts for Preservation and Succession
Udon is made at home and also served at school lunches. It can also be enjoyed at restaurants, roadside stations, and direct sales of agricultural products in the prefecture.