- Main lore areas
- Main ingredients used
- History/origin/related events
Senmaizuke" is a pickle made by pickling thinly sliced Shogoin turnips in salt. It is one of the three most popular pickles in Kyoto, along with "sukkizuke" and "shibazuke". Unlike conventional pickles, it is not intended to be preserved for a long period of time and is delicately pickled.
It is said to have been invented by Ohfuji Tozaburo, a chef at the Imperial Palace during the Edo period (1603-1868). Later, Ohfuji Tozaburo became a pickles merchant and sold "Senmai-zuke" (pickled sliced radish), which quickly became popular. The product quickly became popular and was even selected as one of the national specialties at the National Exposition held in Kyoto in 1890.
The turnip used is the traditional Kyoto vegetable "Shogoin turnip. It is said that this turnip originated in the Kyoho period when a farmer in Shogoin, Sakyo-ku brought back seeds of Omi turnips that had been cultivated in Otsu City, Shiga Prefecture, and started growing them. It is the largest turnip in Japan, weighing from 4 to 5 kg in large pieces, and has a soft and elegant flavor. As "senmaizuke" became popular, its cultivation flourished. In Shino-machi, Kameoka City, where Shogoin turnips are famous, production began soon after World War II. Most of the "senmaizuke" produced in Kyoto comes from this area. It has been certified as a "traditional vegetable of Kyoto" as it has been eaten in Kyoto since ancient times.
Kyoto Prefecture designates traditional foods made with traditional ingredients and techniques as "traditional Kyoto foods" and Senmaizuke is one of them.
- Opportunities and times of eating habits
Senmaizuke is made around November, when the Shogoin turnips are ready for shipment. During this season, long-established pickle shops that open their facilities to the public use large barrels to make large quantities, and the sight of this is a typical winter scene in Kyoto. It is also made at home during the Shogoin turnip harvest season.
- How to eat
Shogoin turnips are cut into thin slices and pickled in vinegar with kombu (kelp) and chili peppers. Unlike conventional pickles, it is not intended to be preserved for a long time and is not fermented with lactic acid. Originally, pickles were pickled in salt and then lacto-fermented.
In addition to eating it as it is, there are also arranged recipes with karasumi or smoked salmon on the side.
- Efforts for Preservation and Succession
In Kyoto, pickles are always sold in stores specializing in pickles during the season.
In Shino-machi, Kameoka City, where it is produced, producers and direct sales offices cooperate to offer hands-on experience in making "senmaizuke" to spread awareness of the deliciousness of Shogoin turnips.
The Shogoin turnip is designated as a "traditional Kyoto food," and the prefectural government and the growers' association are working to spread awareness of its deliciousness.