- Main lore areas
- Main ingredients used
Sweet potato, daikon radish, carrots, burdock root, pork, etc.
- History/origin/related events
“Mettajiru” is a hearty pork miso soup with plenty of ingredients; mainly root vegetables like sweet potato, daikon, and carrots. What makes this soup different from a traditional Tonjiru or pork miso soup is that it uses sweet potatoes instead of regular potatoes. There are no strict rules governing which root vegetables are to be used however, so this dish is enjoyed by households all throughout the prefecture.
The unique name is said to come from phrases such as “Yatara Mettara Gu Wo Ireru (Randomly add ingredients)” and “Yatara Mettara Gu Wo Kiru (Randomly cut the ingredients)”. The reason for adding so many ingredients was said to be started by farmers who wanted a way to use up the large quantity of vegetables that had been harvested. In his representative work “Kabi”, announced in 1894 by Shusei Tokuda; a renowned literary of the prefecture, there is a scene depicting the main character and their friends preparing and eating Mettajiru.
The sweet potatoes which are also used in Mettarjiru are recognized to be a part of the “Kaga Yasai” brand vegetables promoted by the city of Kanazawa. There is a long history of cultivating sweet potato in the city of Kanazawa, as it is said the seed potato and method of cultivation was introduced from Satsuma near the end of the Genroku period. By 1877, the area had become a full-fledged production center of the product and by 1938, over 100 tons of early dug sweet potatoes had been shipped to cities like Kyoto, Hikone, Osaka, Tsuruga, and Kobe. In 1977, following the introduction of curing storage (a method of mass storage under conditions of high heat and humidity), the sweet potato had become one of the main vegetables of the sand dune regions of northern Kanazawa.
- Opportunities and times of eating habits
In-season vegetables are used, and it is eaten year-round. Being easy to cook, it is seen on the dining tables of many households. The flavor can vary from miso to soy sauce base depending on the household.
- How to eat
Pork and vegetables are simmered in dashi soup, and miso is whisked in once the vegetables are soft before being eaten. Many different textures and flavors can be enjoyed by changing the way the various vegetables are cut, for example, quarter round for the daikon and carrot, and diagonal for the burdock root. Konjac and taro may be included as well.
- Efforts for Preservation and Succession
(Outline of the traditions, the preservation society, social media use, modern approaches at commercialization)
The dish is eaten in households and during school lunches to this day, helping to preserve its local flavor. Cooking in a large pot enables large servings to be made, so this dish is served to hundreds of people during big events like bazaars and festivals.
source : Information provided by : Etsuko Aoki’s New Jiwamon Kingdom: Kanazawa Cuisine（Author: Etsuko Aoki）