- Main lore areas
Northwest Tochigi, Central Tochigi
- Main ingredients used
- History/origin/related events
Imogushi" is a local dish of roasted sweet potatoes on skewers with a savory miso sauce, which has been prepared for ceremonial occasions and events. Sato-imo was introduced to Japan from tropical Asia during the Jomon period (before rice cultivation). In Tochigi Prefecture, sato-imo has been cultivated in a wide area except for the former Kuriyama Village, which is unsuitable for sato-imo cultivation due to its cold climate. In the past, the word "taro" used to refer to sato-imo, which was offered at festivals and annual events, as well as in everyday life. For example, there is a custom in Tsukizawa, Nasu-Shiobara City, to eat imogushi while enjoying osechi (New Year) dishes and sake around the hearth at New Year's. In Yamakubo, Nikko City, there is a custom to make and eat imogushi at the festival of Inari Shrine on the first horse day of the lunar calendar.
- Opportunities and times of eating habits
From after the taro harvest to the beginning of spring, people sometimes ate taro balls while warming themselves on the hearth, even on ordinary days. It was especially eaten at New Year's and festivals during this period.
- How to eat
Steamed or boiled taro is skewered and grilled, then dipped in miso sauce and grilled again. The miso sauce is carefully kneaded so that it does not burn until it thickens. Yuzu miso with grated yuzu or chopped sansho leaves is good from fall to winter, and sansho miso is also good in early spring.
- Efforts for Preservation and Succession
Imogushi is not as often made as it used to be, but as one of Tochigi Prefecture's local dishes, its history and recipes are sometimes featured on the Internet and in books.