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Image Source : Agricultural Extension Technology Division, Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Iwate Prefecture
- Main lore areas
All over the prefecture, with a focus on the central part of the prefecture
- Main ingredients used
Flour, seasonal vegetables such as root vegetables, river fish, river crabs, chicken, mushrooms, etc. depending on the region
- History/origin/related events
The central region of the prefecture has a lot of flat land in the Kitakami River basin, which has long been open to rice paddies, and the scale of rice production has been large. However, there were years when rice could not be harvested due to severe cold weather and cold damage, so barley, wheat, and buckwheat were also produced to stabilize the diet. Therefore, many dishes were prepared using rice, wheat, and buckwheat flours, and the culture of "shitonemono," a dish made by kneading the flour with water, developed. Hittsumi is one of the representative dishes, and was often eaten as an alternative to the staple food in years when the rice harvest was poor.
Hittsumi" is said to be a corruption of "hittsumu," a dialect word meaning "to tear by hand," since the dough is kneaded with water and spread into a thin layer, then torn by hand and boiled. Depending on the region, it is also called "tote-nage," "hatto," or "kiribatto.
Ingredients and soup stock vary from region to region and from household to household. Jidori chicken, mushrooms, river crabs, river fish, and mokuzu crab are sometimes added depending on the region.
- Opportunities and times of eating habits
It is eaten throughout the year regardless of the season, but is most appreciated during the warm and cold winter months. It was also eaten as a family dish for dinner or when people gathered to help with farm work. Even today, it is served at local events where people gather.
- How to eat
Knead flour with water, pull it out and spread it thinly, tear it by hand, and put it into soup stock with chicken, burdock root, carrots, mushrooms, etc. and simmer it. The dough is kneaded thoroughly and allowed to rest, resulting in a thin and firm dough. Ingredients vary depending on the region and season. In the Sanriku coastal area, seafood such as Pacific saury is used, while inland, river crabs and river fish are used, and in Iwaizumi Town, where matsutake mushrooms are grown, matsutake mushrooms are sometimes added.
In Iwaizumi Town, where matsutake mushrooms are grown, matsutake mushrooms are sometimes added. Some people sweeten it with "azuki hittsumi" or "zunda hittsumi," for example. In recent years, various flavors such as curry, Western, and Chinese have become popular.
- 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.)
Hittsumi flour and a set of boiled dough and dashi broth are available for sale, and the dish is made at home on a daily basis. In addition, hittsumi is served at local restaurants and school lunches, and has taken root among the people of the prefecture. The town of Otsuchi is working to make hittsumi a local specialty by developing original menus for local restaurants and lodging facilities. The Iwate Prefecture Fresh Noodle Cooperative Association has designated December 3 as "Hitsumi Day" and is conducting publicity activities for hitsumi. In addition, Iwate Prefecture recognizes people and organizations that pass down local cuisine as "Iwate Prefecture Food Artisans", and there are also "Iwate Prefecture Food Artisans" for hittsumi.