- Main lore areas
- Main ingredients used
Rice flour, white sugar, sweet potatoes, water
- History/origin/related events
Miki" is a lactic acid fermented beverage made from rice, sweet potatoes and sugar, and is drunk in Okinawa Prefecture as well as in the Amami area. In Okinawa Prefecture, barley is used instead of sweet potatoes.
The word "miki" is written "kamishu," and is said to have its origins in a mouthful of sake that was offered to the gods during festivals. Kuchibi-zake was made by mixing two or three bites of rice in the mouth of a young woman. There is a description of miki in a book titled "Minamishima Zogawa" written by Nagoya Sagenta, a samurai of the Satsuma clan at the end of the Edo period, which suggests that miki was already being made and drunk at that time. The book also mentions the method of making "miki" today, which involves boiling rice and grating sweet potatoes.
- Opportunities and times of eating habits
In ancient times, miki was made on fertility festivals and other occasions to pray for a bountiful harvest, and was offered to the gods. In recent years, the number of stores specializing in making miki has increased, and it is now consumed throughout the year. Miki is especially popular in summer, when people's appetites wane, and as a nutritional supplement when people catch a cold.
- How to eat
Put rice flour in a large pot of hot water, add sugar, and stir while heating. Take the juice from the grated sweet potato and put it in the pot when the temperature drops to about 30°C. Put the lid on the pot and leave it in a cool, dark place. After a few days, when it has fermented, refrigerate it and pour it into a glass.
It tastes like sweet porridge or amazake. It is very sweet when it is freshly made, but as the days go by, the sourness increases. In the Amami area, the sour taste of "Miki" tends to be preferred.
It is tasty when drunk as it is, but there are many ways to drink and eat it, such as mixing it with fruit juice or sake, or adding fruit to make it dessert-like.
As a drink that contains a lot of plant-based lactic acid bacteria, it has been attracting attention in recent years as people become more health-conscious.
- Efforts for Preservation and Succession
(Overview of those who have passed down the tradition, preservation groups, use of SNS, modern efforts such as commercialization, etc.)
In the past, "miki" was made at home by every household, but nowadays there are more and more stores specializing in miki and commercial products are available at supermarkets, etc., so the number of people making miki at home is decreasing. However, because it is easy to drink, it is popular among men and women of all ages, and is still an indispensable drink for Amami families.