- Main lore areas
- Main ingredients used
- History/origin/related events
Fushimi Togarashi" is a traditional Kyoto vegetable cultivated in the Fushimi Ward area of Kyoto City. Although the details are not clear, it is recorded in "Yongshu fushi," a geographical journal compiled in 1684, that it was cultivated in Yamashiro-no-kuni (present-day southern part of Kyoto Prefecture). Kyoto Prefecture has designated vegetables that have been cultivated in the prefecture since ancient times as "Kyoto's traditional vegetables" and is attempting to brand them. In branding, the vegetables are defined as those introduced before the Meiji era, and are grown in all areas of Kyoto Prefecture, excluding mushrooms and ferns.
While chili peppers are generally thought of as spicy, the Fushimi Togarashi is also known as "Fushimi amanaga" because it is not spicy and has a unique sweet taste. When ripe, the fruit turns red like a red pepper, but the pungency does not increase. The blue and red fruits are sometimes combined to add color to dishes.
Compared to the "Manganji Togarashi," which is also grown in Kyoto, it is slender and 10 to 15 cm long. In the market, it is known by the nickname "Aoto.
The young leaves are called "Kigosho" and together with the small fruits are used for food such as tsukudani. Fushimi Togarashi is often used, but other chili peppers may also be used. The leaves are tender and have a subtle chili pepper flavor and a distinctive bitterness.
- Opportunities and times of eating habits
Fushimi Togarashi is in season from early May to late October. Currently, they are cultivated in various parts of the prefecture, and some efforts are being made to expand the harvest season by using plastic greenhouses. Because it is not spicy and can be eaten even by children, it is popular among people of all ages as Kyoto's midsummer side dish.
- How to eat
Boil chili leaves quickly in hot water, then drain well and stir-fry them with soy sauce or sake before eating. It is popular not only as an accompaniment to rice, but also as a snack. It is also delicious with baby sardines.
- Efforts for Preservation and Succession
Fushimi Togarashi" and its leaves are sold at direct sales shops and supermarkets. It is popular as a home-style dish, and because it is not spicy, even children can eat it.
In recent years, a variety called "Kyotona" has been developed that specializes in eating the leaves.