- Main lore areas
Eastern region (Shimada area)
- Main ingredients used
bamboo shoots, sansho (Japanese pepper)
- History/origin/related events
The Shimada area was mostly surrounded by mountains and could not produce enough rice. A man named Ichirobe Yasumatsu, who was aware of this environment, cultivated the mountains and forests in 1846 (Koka 3). He moved the moso bamboo from Kiyomizu Temple in the town and began to increase the number of mother bamboos. The red clay soil encouraged the growth of Ichirobei's bamboo shoots, which grew quickly. Bamboo shoot cultivation spread to neighboring farmers, and soon "Shimada bamboo shoots" established an unshakeable position as a specialty product.
Shimada bamboo shoots have fine fibers and soft flesh. The secret lies in the soil. Bamboo shoots grown in hard soil are tough, but those grown in the soil of the Shimada area, which has been cultivated by our ancestors, are soft. Shimada bamboo shoots grow deep in the ground. Traditionally, a pickaxe is used to dig bamboo shoots, but Shimada bamboo shoots are dug using a metal rod more than 1 meter long.
Around 1975 (late 1970), 700 to 800 tons of bamboo shoots were harvested per season, but due to a lack of successors among farmers, the amount has decreased to a few dozen tons. Nevertheless, the popularity of bamboo shoots has not waned, and they are supplied both inside and outside of the prefecture.
Local people are also familiar with bamboo shoots. Various dishes such as "bamboo shoot sansho nimono" (bamboo shoot simmered with Japanese pepper), "bamboo shoot rice," and stir-fried bamboo shoots are served on the dinner table.
- Opportunities and times of eating habits
Shimada bamboo shoots reach their peak from around April to June (bamboo shoots in other areas are harvested from late April to early May). Demand from outside the prefecture is high, but a portion is supplied to the local market.
Many people, even those not in the Shimada area, dig bamboo shoots in their own gardens or in neighboring bamboo groves. In addition to being consumed for their own use, some people sell them privately to earn extra income.
- How to eat
Bamboo shoots can be simply cooked in a broth with dried bonito flakes, as in "Tosa-ni" (Tosa stew). To make sansho nimono, stew the fish in a broth made of bonito stock, light soy sauce, sake, and mirin (sweet cooking sake). You may also add some Japanese pepper as an accent. Put the dried bonito flakes in a strainer and add oigatsuo to enhance the flavor and taste.
Since preparation of bamboo shoots is time-consuming, you may use boiled bamboo shoots in water.
- Efforts for Preservation and Succession
(Outline of the people who have passed down the tradition, preservation groups, use of SNS, and modern efforts such as commercialization, etc.)
During the season, restaurants serve stewed Shimada bamboo shoots. Some families dig bamboo shoots for their own use, and it has taken root in the local community as a taste of spring.
source : Masaru Morii, Executive Director, Shimane Federation of Chefs' Associations