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Showing posts from January, 2012

Tokyo Farmer's Markets: January 28th and 29th

Sally forth this weekend into the sunny and clear days of Tokyo winter to find some of the best food in town, whether as fresh ingredients for dinner or as prepared by the regions growers and producers. Miso making season nears (February is the traditional time to whip it together), which might mean the opportunity to add it to the collection of shus - yuzu , sumomo , and ume - tucked away in some corner or another. (Or is that just my apartment?) Earth Day Market Sunday, January 29 I could go wax on forever about how great this market is and how important it is for the future of Japanese farming. Instead, I'll just insist that folks go and see for themselves what great things the market and these innovative growers are doing. 10am to 4pm, Rain or shine! Map UN University Market Every Saturday and Sunday in December A massive weekend affair that is great fun and features a variety of fruits and vegetables and prepared products from all over Japan. P

Kichijjoji Market Back on the Radar

A few months ago the Kichijoji Farmer's Market seemed to fall off the radar. I couldn't find a listing for it in the usual places, and worried it had folded for a lack of customer interest or leadership. Imagine my delight this past weekend then when I happened by in the pouring rain to find a slightly chilled but incredibly cheerful group of growers and producers (primarily from Tohoku) on hand with an assortment of fruits, vegetables, and sweets. (Those who follow me on Twitter will have had a preview of the photos here and my exuberance at finding the market.) Held the third weekend of each month, the market thrives. (Even as I chatted with market manager, what's-her-name, I had to keep a careful eye on the "strawberry cats" I'd spotted earlier.) Small but with good variety, visitors will find fifteen to twenty vendors set up under bright red awnings. Kids are guaranteed a bit of fun as well with a hands-on crafting activity. The market may be done fo

Tokyo Farmer's Markets: January 21st and 22nd

Asakusa Festival Bean Sellers Not to be missed this weekend is the rocking UN University Night Market and the ever-lovely Ebisu Market along with Gyre's cozy market. While there are more possible places to go this weekend, the selection on offer won't be remotely limited. Catch the bounty of winter while you can! Ebisu Market Sunday, January 22* 11am to 5pm A nice sized market held on the terrace just in front of Ebisu Garden Place that will always be special to me for introducing me to dried natto and  tea seedpods . *A bit of a guess as the calendar on the site has not been updated for January as of this publication. I'll confirm as I can. Map Gyre Market Saturday, January 21 and Sunday, January 22 A gem of a market hidden away in one of Tokyo's high-end shopping districts offering seasonal favorites in a way that feels homey yet rather boutique-y. 11am to 5pm Map UN University Market Every Saturday and Sunday in December A massi

Ume Hachimitsu Jam

 One of the leftovers of umehachimitsu are the plums or ume . Last year I made marmalade with the yuzu peels I removed from the yuzushu , but I never quite sorted out what to do with the ume from the hachimitsu or the umeshu . This year I decided to try making jam. Remembering the damson jam served from the larder of good friends in England and those sampled at Ludlow , I perused a few recipes. These simple ones and this one for plum butter caught my imagination, but for the first batch I thought I would keep additions to a minimum. The flavor would be different as these weren't fresh dark damsons plucked from the tree by Daniel's Mill , but rather these little fatties had loitered in honey and vinegar for a handful of months. In the end, I based my experiment in the Ball Blue Book recipe for damson jam. The resulting flavor is tart, salty, and sweet, and not quite what one might expect on morning toast. I think with cheese it would be lovely, although I am enjoying it

Tokyo Farmer's Markets: January 14th and 15th

Heirloom kabu at December's Earth Day Market  The list for this weekend might be small, but sometimes having fewer choices is a good thing. And remember, it's only the possible locations to visit that are limited. The selection of items - from crafts, to fresh fruits and vegetables, to pickles, to jams, to a big, beautiful bag of rice or a small package of tea - knows only the boundaries of the shopping bag in hand and the creativity of the growers and producers present that day. If you ask me, there's no better way to spend a winter weekend. UN University Market Every Saturday and Sunday in December A massive weekend affair that is great fun and features a variety of fruits and vegetables and prepared products from all over Japan. Plus, the curry I had during my last visit from one of the vendors was plate-licking good. (I refrained, but only just.) 10am to 4pm Map Roppongi Market Every Saturday in January A recent first  visit to this market  was w

Tokyo's January Farmer's Markets

A new year, and a new calendar of markets and food events! As this goes live I'm savoring my last days of Hokkaido snow, but looking forward to getting back to my garden chores (seriously) and making a list of markets around the country that I want to hit. (There's one near Osaka that a new market friend put me on to, so I'm dreaming a road trip there. We'll have to see.) Meanwhile, perhaps I'll see you out and about at one of these! SUN Grocery in Shinjuku Saturday, January 7 11am to 3pm A once-a-month outreach effort by the students running a neighborhood grocery featuring fruits and vegetables from independent farmers. Map Shinonome Earth Day Market Sunday, January 8 9am to 2pm A great little market worth a visit not just because it's all organic all the time, but you'll have those free samples all to yourself as well as a great opportunity to meet a small handful of growers and producers who don't necessarily make it to the larger