Oct 5, 2017
The produce of Kagoshima Prefecture is widely lauded as being among the best in the land (and sea)! We find out more.
Like many other prefectures in Japan, Kagoshima takes great pride in their rich and distinctive food culture. However, unlike other prefectures, Kagoshima has some of the nation’s most unique food products. For example, the Kagoshima greater amberjack, kanpachi, is highly sought after not just in Japan, but in Singapore and USA as well. That’s because the warm climes of Kagoshima is especially suite05d for the cultivation of kanpachi.
The warm climate also means Kagoshima is rife with a variety of citrus fruits, including oranges, tangerines, and mangoes. Depending on the season, you can pick your own fruits at selected farms around the prefecture.
Kagoshima is also renowned for its Wagyu beef. Blessed with an abundance of sunshine and tropical conditions, the “black cattle” of Kagoshima are prized for their tender, full-bodied meat and well-balanced fat marbling. Another uniquely Kagoshima dish is jidori, which is a type of free-range chicken that is often eaten sashimi-style. Yes, you read that right. Raw chicken! It’s actually not as strange as it sounds, and is pretty yummy.
Read on to find out more about the rich and beautiful produce of Kagoshima.
Literally translated to “black vinegar”, kurozu is the name given by Akio Sakamoto for the vinegar aged in earthenware jars using a traditional technique dating back to the 19th century. Because of the proliferation of sunshine and availability of first-rate water in Kagoshima, the rice vinegar produced here is among the best in the world.
As you may know, dashi (soup and cooking stock) is a mainstay in Japanese cuisine, and it’s usually made with katsuobushi (dried bonito). Kagoshima is the leading prefecture in Japan in the production of katsuobushi, with 70 percent of all dried bonito produced here. Katsuobushi is produced using fresh skipjack tuna, which is thoroughly boiled, smoked, fermented and dried. Some of the best katsuobushi is derived from honkarebushi, an exquisitely crafted product made with premium-quality skipjack tuna and fine craftsmanship.
Did you know that the Osumi area in Kagoshima Prefecture is the number one producer of unagi eel in Japan? Not many people know that. While Shizuoka Prefecture may be more famous in terms of its unagi production, Kagoshima actually started cultivating unagi eel way back in 1965. However, it was only in recent years that the processing of unagi eel started. At the Osaki-cho Eel Assocation, they process about 10,000 eels a day and their products are distributed all over Japan.
Although shochu is widely produced in southern Japan, in the Kyushu region, the Honkaku Shochu from Kagoshima Prefecture has the distinct advantage of receiving international recognition from the World Trade Organisation. What this means is, only shochu produced and bottled in Kagoshima, distilled through the single distillation method, and made with local sweet potatoes, can be labeled “Satsuma Shochu”.
Kagoshima Prefecture is the second largest producer of green tea in Japan. The mild, subtropical environment combined with the mineral-rich soils from the volcano makes Kagoshima an ideal place for tea cultivation. In recent years, Kagoshima Prefecture’s tea producers have also made a name for themselves overseas with their organic green tea.
Leading the way is Oritaen, which started producing organic green tea 40 years ago, and currently exports its products to the US, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and all over Japan.