- Main lore areas
Nantan area, Chutan area, Tango area
- Main ingredients used
Tamba black soybean(Tamba kurodaizu)
- History/origin/related events
Kurodaizu is a black soybean that comes mainly from the Tamba area, including Kyotamba Town and Nantan City. The cultivation of soybeans has a long history, and soybeans themselves were counted as one of the five main grains by the time of “Kojiki” (record of ancient matters, edited in 712) and “Nihonshoki” (chronicles of Japan, edited in 720), but it is not known when a variety of soybeans, the Tamba black soybean, was established. In the tenth century, it was distinguished from the soybean as a "black bean" in books, and in the sixteenth century, the name "black bean" was used as an offering to the court, suggesting that cultivation was already flourishing by this time. Because the land is fertile and they are cultivated in an inland climate with a large temperature difference between day and night, the grains grow large and have a rich taste. Because of the long cultivation period of six months and the technical difficulties, the beans were sometimes called "Kurou mame (hardship beans)" by some growers. Large, wrinkle-free, shiny, black soybeans have a great taste when cooked. Recipes such as edamame and bean rice with unripe beans are common, as they allow you to enjoy the flavors of the ingredients directly. In the New Year's Osechi cuisine, they are made into "Kuromameni” (simmered black beans) and then served. “Kuromameni” represents a wish for longevity and good health, as well as a wish to be able to work as diligently as possible to get a deep suntan.
- Opportunities and times of eating habits
Black soybeans bloom around August, and from September to October, the pods begin to bear fruit, which turn black after a while. Around October, just before they turn black, black soybeans for edamame are harvested. Black soybeans for cooked soybeans are harvested around November. Before harvesting, the leaves around the fruit are removed, and the fruit, exposed to sunlight, gradually dries and changes from oval to round in shape.
Kuromame-ni" (black soybean stew) has become an indispensable dish in Osechi cuisine to pray for good health and longevity.
- How to eat
Black soybeans are cooked with sugar and soy sauce. When the beans are cooked, serve in a bowl and eat as is. It is very tasty when cooked slowly over low heat to make them fluffy.
- Efforts for Preservation and Succession
Black soybeans are a staple of Osechi cuisine, but they are also eaten year-round at other times of the year as "black soybean stew" and "gohan (soybean rice)".
At local elementary schools, black soybeans are taught as part of home economics cooking classes, and are sometimes served as a side dish in school lunches at the beginning of the year.
In recent years, various arrangements of dishes have been developed, and some communities even sell sweets and tofu made from black soybeans.