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Image Source : Takeda Saryo
Image Source : Oita Prefecture
- Main lore areas
- Main ingredients used
- History/origin/related events
Located in the southwestern part of Oita Prefecture, Taketa City is surrounded by the Kujyu mountain range, the outer rim of Aso, and the foot of Mt. After the Shiga clan entered Oka Castle in the Warring States Period, the Nakagawa clan moved to the area around the time of the unification of Japan by Toyotomi Hideyoshi. After the castle town was built in Takeda Village, the city developed with a focus on commerce. Although much of the scenery of the old days was eventually lost during the Sounan War, the city center still retains some of its old features, such as the samurai residences.
During the Edo period (1603-1867), when the transportation infrastructure was not well-developed, people in this inland area, far from the sea, had few opportunities to eat sea fish, and fresh seafood was rarely consumed. In order to use rare fish and shellfish without wasting them, the "head dish" was invented.
The head is used in a wide variety of dishes, including the gills, jaw, and entrails, as well as the meat of the fish. The ingredients used in "head dishes" include not only the meat of the fish, but also the gills, jaw, and entrails, leaving only the head. These are then quickly blanched in hot water and served on a platter. The ingredients used include ara, kue, nibe, grouper, and other large fish. The large fish are used in their entirety and enjoyed with family and guests.
- Opportunities and times of eating habits
It was eaten on festive occasions such as celebrations. Once cooked, the fish can be preserved for a while, so it is also served to New Year's guests. Nowadays, "head dishes" are rarely served at home, but a long time ago, it is said that at the end of the year, people would take a cutting board out to the porch and prepare a big fish.
- How to eat
Boil the parts of the fish other than the head, such as the meat, jaw, pectoral fins, cod roe, and entrails, quickly in salted water and blanch in cold water. Arrange the fish on a platter and serve with a dipping sauce made of sanbaizu (vinegar) or a squeeze of kabosu (a type of citrus fruit), along with such condiments as green onions and grated monkshood. The acidic seasoning enhances the refreshing taste of the fish.
- Efforts for Preservation and Succession
(Outline of the people who have passed down the tradition, preservation groups, use of SNS, modern efforts such as commercialization, etc.)
Even today, when transportation and technology have been improved, it is still served at festive occasions, New Year's Eve, and New Year's Day in Takeda City.
Although the number of restaurants that serve "head dishes" has decreased, there are still some restaurants that serve "head dishes" with reservations.