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Japanese Life & Culture

Season-Fresh "Soba" Ready to Serve!

By November 17, 2016 at 8:55 pm
Soba Festa, The City of Kayano, Nagano
Soba Festa, The City of Kayano, Nagano(Photo : Facebook @chinokanko)

In case you are not familiar with a stuff called "soba", here's your chance to get acquainted with one of the popular foods known to every Japanese - including myself, an ardent fan of this thing - Soba. Soba, by the way, is a popular food that arrives and cherished seasonally.

Today's episode has to with Soba - a type of noodle made of buck wheat produced in hilly lands, of which Nagano is one. 

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Now, October-November is the soba season when fresh soba flour circulates wherever you go in Japan - the year's most gratifying season for noodle fans, particular soba fans like me.

The City of Kayano, Nagano, hosted a Soba Festa on November 12 with the auspices of the Kayano Chamber of Commerce and Industry to offer 100 servings of fresh soba prepared by local soba restaurants -all sold out i no time.

According to NHK, Sadahiro Miyasaka of the Festa commented:

"The Mt. Yatsugatake offers just the right degree of temperature fluctuations and has a longer daytime, necessary for fine soba to grow. We are very pleased to appeal the charms of Yatsugatake Soba through such an event."

Elsewhere in Japan, a timely noodle battle was staged at Sakai City, Fukui, between a local Fukui Soba and the legendary noodle of Kagawa Prefecture. 

Foreign tourists often have a noodle for lunch and chances are many of them may know Sanuki Udon by name or even can tell Soba from Udon. Udon, by the way, is another noodle made of common wheat flour and equally popular here. In fact, the noodle fans are generally divided between Soba and Udon factions for no other reason but that Soba is somewhat "touchy" to your throat whereas Udon runs smoothly through.

Back to the battle, the idea was for either faction to compete for the time required to sell out 300 servings of noodles for 300 yen. 

In the fist battle earlier in September, Soba beat Udon in a landslide; this time, Udon cleared itself of a disgrace by beating Soba by selling out 300 bowls in 22 minutes. 

So what? (Nathan Shiga)

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