At the Japan Fruit and Vegetables Export Promotion Council, their operations focus on the exportation of Japanese fruit and vegetables and processed foods. They also gather and distribute information about the exportation process, support their registered members and work towards the increased expansion of Japanese exports. When fulfilling the responsibilities described, the Japan Fruit and Vegetables Export Promotion Council uses a “Japan-grown Fruit” label to represent the Council. This branding label, which was issued by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, is used across the board for affairs relating to the export of Japan-grown fruit and vegetables. The Council received authorization from the Ministry to use the label on October 19, 2015.
Let’s find out and try the attractiveness of Japanese produce! Fruits and vegetables that are naturally rich in sugars: Melon, Sweet Potato, Corn and Mikan
This time we would like to focus 4 Japanese produce: 2 fruits and 2 vegetables. Sweet potato and corn are vegetables with sweet taste profile. Recently, Japanese sweet potato and corn are more accessible for purchase out of Japan. We are going to introduce recipes as well as the attractiveness of Japanese sweet potato and corn in this article.
Though cultivated in Japan, Melon is considered as one of the most prized luxury fruit while mikan is a popular fruit to be enjoyed in winter, especially together with Kotatsu (The kotatsu is a Japanese table with a built-in heater and a blanket that covers all four sides and traps the heat underneath). Let’s find out more about melon and mikan together!
1. Melon Representation of luxurious fruit.
Enjoy melon with elegant decoration.
Melon is a great gift option. Follow our Melon Cake recipe and you will realise that this recipe uses 2 types of melon (Raiden Melon – orange flesh and Crown Melon – green flesh) so that you can see the colour contrast. You are able to differentiate the melons from their flesh colour and the skin pattern.
With help of greenhouse cultivation, you can now savour the sweet taste from these great quality Japanese melons today instead of anticipating its harvest season (May -July).
2. Sweet Potato
What is the secret of sweet potato?
Everyone from kids to adults love it.
Sweet potato is one of the representative vegetables in autumn as it is sweet like a syrup and has a good texture. In Japan, people traditionally eat sweet potato as “yakiimo” (baked or roasted sweet potato covered with aluminum foil). Kagoshima prefecture is the largest producer of sweet potato in Japan and its production amounts to ~40% of the total production in Japan, followed by Ibaraki and Chiba prefectures. Other than cooking, sweet potato is one of the ingredients of making shochu (Japanese alcohol). Recently there are more varieties of sweet potato brands, and you may wish to use Narutokintoki for this recipe.
Other popular brands are Beniharuka, Beniazuma, Anno Imo or Silk Sweet, and these have each unique characteristic. There is another type of sweet potato with purple flesh. When purple sweet potato became popular in Japan, it was mainly used for making desserts, but now people see the purple sweet potato as a local specialty in Okinawa. Sweet potato contains a lot of fibers and it is good for your digestive health.
3. Sweet Corn
Juicy Corn, grown in beautiful sunshine
Sweet corn is one of the vegetables that most kids can accept. Corn can be used in a variety of recipes: salad, soup, main dish or dessert. To enjoy the natural sweetness of the corn, you can grill the corn by brushing soy sauce on the golden yellow color surface, or simply steam or boil the cob. Using microwave is also an easy way to cook corn at home.
Hokkaido is the largest corn producer in Japan, which amount to 40% of the total production, followed by Chiba and Ibaraki prefectures. Pure White (white corn), Megumi Gold and Gold Rush are some of the brands of Hokkaido corns.
Enjoy the lovely colour and taste of Mikan during winter!
Mikan is very popular among Japanese, with its thin skin and juicy flesh. When sliced horizontally, you can see the fruit pulp beautifully.
Even though it is perceived that people may not differentiate mikan brands as often as other fruits and vegetables, mikan is differentiated based on the harvest season. It is said that one of the mikan types, Onsyu Mikan, has more than 30 brands. Japanese will consume Mikan as a source of vitamin C during winter.
Ehime prefecture is famous for producing citrus fruits, and their Mikan is grown in greenhouse. The largest production area of Mikan is Wakayama prefecture, followed by Ehime, Shizuoka and Kumamoto prefectures.
We are going to introduce a recipe featuring mikan this week on our SNS. Please stay tuned on our upcoming post for more details!