- Main lore areas
- Main ingredients used
Kuroda Seri, spinach
- History/origin/related events
Kuroda Seri is a local vegetable of Matsue City, Shimane Prefecture, which has been handed down since the Edo period. The name "Kuroda" comes from the old name of the area, Kuroda-cho.
The area around Kuroda-cho is said to have been a swampy area where wild Japanese parsley grew wild, and the 5th lord of the Matsue domain, Matsudaira Yoshitada, encouraged the breeding of the parsley. Since then, the cultivation of Japanese parsley began in earnest. The Hitsu hill on the back of this area is a source of clean water, and this growing environment also supported the cultivation of Japanese parsley.
Harvesting in the paddy fields during the bitter cold, with bare hands and bare feet, was extremely hard work, and was even said to "shorten life. As time went by, tin paddy field shoes and water heating tubs were introduced to reduce the workload. Although the scene of work in the rice paddies used to be a wintertime tradition, the number of Kuroda Seri farmers in the town has dwindled to a few.
Kuroda Seri is characterized by its peculiar aroma, but Kuroda Seri is less acrid and more fragrant, and in the 1930s it was labeled "the best in Japan" by Kitaoji Rosanjin. Kuroda Seri has a crunchy texture and can be used in a wide variety of dishes, such as stir-frying and dressing with mustard mayonnaise. Among them, "Ohitashi (boiled spinach and kuroda-seri)" is a dish often eaten at home with spinach.
- Opportunities and times of eating habits
Harvesting is from November to the beginning of March. Since it is said to improve blood flow, many locals eat it as "New Year's parsley" to avoid catching a cold, and shipments peak from the end of the year to the beginning of the New Year. Kuroda-seri is used on winter tables in Matsue City for boiled vegetables and nabe (hot pot), and was also valued as a healthy winter vegetable.
- How to eat
To enjoy the unique aroma, flavor, and crunchy texture of Kurodaseri, simple dishes such as salad or bowls are best. It also goes well with spinach, and "Kuroda Seri and Spinach Ohitashi" is a popular home-style dish.
Since Japanese parsley has a peculiar taste, it is best to make it with a larger proportion of spinach (7 parts spinach to 3 parts parsley). If refrigerated, it can be stored for about a week, making it easy to use. If celeri is not available, mitsuba can be used as a substitute.
When boiling, do not overboil to retain the crunchiness. Do not overcook in a pot, and boil it quickly.
- Efforts for Preservation and Succession
The production of "Kuroda Seri" is decreasing, and most of it is consumed within the prefecture. Matsue City is promoting efforts to find new growers in order to preserve the traditional vegetable.
source : Kiyozazu Nakamoto, Executive Vice President, Shimane Culinary Association