- Main lore areas
The whole prefecture
- Main ingredients used
White miso, round rice cake, kashira-imo (parent taro), daikon (Japanese radish)
- History/origin/related events
Zoni is unique in its ingredients in each region of Japan. The ingredients and taste of the soup stock, the ingredients that go into it, and the shape of the rice cake vary from region to region. The custom of eating zoni with rice cakes on the first three days of the New Year is said to have existed in the Heian period (794 - 1185). Later, in the Muromachi period (1336-1573), zoni became a celebratory meal for samurai families, incorporating a variety of good luck ingredients and taking root in many areas. The zoni that is eaten at New Year in Kyoto is a "Zoni made with white miso”, which includes a round rice cake, kashira-imo (parent taro), daikon (Japanese radish) and a branded Kyoto vegetable, Kintoki carrot. A round rice cake represents a wish for happiness and long life, a kashira-imo means prosperity of descendants and success in life, and a round slice of daikon means happiness, and a slice of daikon in the shape of a tortoise shell means long life. Kintoki carrot is sometimes included to ward off evil because of its vivid red color. White miso is said to have originated in Kyoto and has been made since the Heian period. A luxury product made from rice, white miso was mainly consumed by the nobility since it was valuable at the time. Compared to other miso developed for storage purposes, such as barley miso and soybean miso, the fermentation period is shorter (one week to 10 days) and less salt is used, resulting in a mellow and sweet finish.
- Opportunities and times of eating habits
It is eaten in every household on the three days of the New Year. Although it is not customary to eat shiro-miso on a daily basis, many households prepare shiro-miso for the special occasion of New Year's Day.
- How to eat
Peel and boil kashiraimo and daikon radish, and cut them into round or tortoise-shaped slices. Similarly, if you want to add kintoki carrots, cut them into round slices and boil them. Put the prepared yam and daikon radish in a bowl, and add the softened round rice cake. Finally, pour the white miso paste spread in the broth and serve. The rice cake may be baked, but is often boiled so as not to disturb the flavor of the white miso.
- Efforts for Preservation and Succession
Every year, each family makes mochi, and the method of making mochi has been handed down from generation to generation. In addition, elementary school students learn how to make Zoni from making white miso using soybeans, and there is an environment where students can learn the traditional "Zoni with white miso" at a cooking school. In addition, restaurants also offer their own special zoni.