- Main lore areas
- Main ingredients used
Sweet potatoes, strong flour
- History/origin/related events
Oita Prefecture is home to many local sweets made from wheat flour, such as “Yaseuma”, “Jiriyaki” and “Yudemochi” (boiled rice cakes). The reason for this can be found in the flour-based food culture that was rooted in the past. Oita Prefecture has a well-developed plateau and much of its land is unsuitable for rice cultivation. After waterways were built in various areas, the cultivation of wheat in the fields developed. From there, flour came to be used in cooking and became a common ingredient in local sweets and cuisine. “Sorakitamochi” is a local confectionery that has been popular on the remote island of Himeshima, located at the western end of the Seto Inland Sea, for many years. Himeshima is about a 20-minute ferry ride from Imi Port in Kunisaki City. According to “Kuniumi”, one of the myths in the Kojiki (records of ancient matters), Izanagi no Mikoto and Izanami no Mikoto created the island of Himeshima, which is said to be this island, Himeshima. The seas around Himeshima, which is in the Suonada Sea, are good fishing grounds for a variety of seafood such as sea bream, octopus, prawn and sea bass. On Himeshima, surrounded by the sea, rice could not be grown on the island, and instead wheat flour and sweet potatoes were often grown there. It is an affordable snack in such an environment. The "Sorakitamochi", which is popular in Himeshima Village, is made by mashing soft boiled sweet potatoes, covering half of them with flour and kneading them over a fire to make a skin. The rest of the sweet potatoes were sweetened with sugar to make paste and wrapped in the skin. The cooking time is reduced because no steaming is required. It can be made so quickly so you can say “Sora kita!” (Here you come!) even when you have an unexpected visitor, which reportedly brought about the name “Sorakitamochi”. One of the reasons why it was so easy to make is that in the old days, every house always had boiled sweet potatoes.
- Opportunities and times of eating habits
It was often made when there were sudden visitors or as a snack for children. Nowadays, there are not so many opportunities to make it at home.
- How to eat
First, boil sweet potatoes and separate them into two parts: one for the skin and the other for the filling. For the skin, add strong flour and heat. For the bean jam, add sugar and salt. The sweet bean paste is wrapped in the skin and sprinkled with soybean flour before eating.
- Efforts for Preservation and Succession
Teaching the younger generation how to make it in cooking classes at schools, etc.