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LastUpDate: December 28, 2012
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Hakata Culture vol.71


Delicious Fruits and Vegetables from Fukuoka

Delicious Fruits and Vegetables from Fukuoka image

Despite being the biggest city in Kyushu, Fukuoka is blessed with nature’s bounty. The city is known for its delicious dishes, but the secret lies with its fresh local ingredients. While it may be hard to imagine from the building-lined streets of the city center, there are many rice paddies and fields within the city limits where many different kinds of produce are grown. If you look, you will surely find plots of farmland in residential areas, along roads and in some other unexpected places.

One of Fukuoka's most famous vegetables, which is used regularly in winter hot pot, is shungiku, or chrysanthemum greens. People enjoy its unique aroma and flavor, and Hakata shungiku, which is grown within the city limits, is considered one of the more palatable varieties of the vegetable. Another local vegetable popular throughout Japan is the Hakata Banno Negi, a type of Welsh onion. Cultivated year-round, it is essential for seasoning soups and other dishes. A plethora of vegetables are grown in the city, including katsuona, a leafy green used in Hakata's traditional New Year's dishes and nutrient-rich broccoli.

As for fruits, one must not forget Fukuoka's famous Amaou brand strawberry. An acronym for amai (sweet), marui (round), ōkii (big) and umai (delicious), Amaou strawberries are known for being large and oh so sweet. The strawberry is so delicious that it became a nationwide hit soon after its inception, and Amaou are now even exported overseas. Fukuoka is also home to many citrus fruits, and one that has gained attention recently is the New Summer Orange, a specialty of Nokonoshima. With its refreshing flavor and mild acidity, it has quickly become another popular brand fruit.

Many products using ingredients from Fukuoka have also started to hit the shelves. Amaou Liqueur and Hakata Itamemon Sauce, a sauce made from irregular sized onions, are just two examples. There are several produce stands and morning markets where you can buy fresh produce, so why don't you try some of Fukuoka’s delicious fruits and vegetables?



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福岡で生まれる美味しい野菜や果物

 九州一の大都市でありながら自然に恵まれた福岡市。食べ物が美味しいまちとして知られていますが、その秘密は新鮮な食材にあります。ビルが建ち並ぶ都心からは想像できませんが、福岡市内には田んぼや畑も多く、さまざまな農産物が作られているのです。住宅街や道路沿いなど、意外な場所に農地を見かけることがあるはずです。

 福岡の代表的な野菜のひとつは、これからの季節に鍋の素材として大活躍する春菊。独特の風味と香りが人気で、福岡市内で生産された博多春菊は食べやすいと評判です。また薬味に欠かせない博多万能ネギは全国的にも人気が高く、1年中栽培されています。博多のお正月に欠かせない伝統野菜のかつお菜や、ビタミン・ミネラルが豊富なブロッコリーなど、栽培されている野菜の種類はとても豊富です。

 果物で忘れてならないのが福岡を代表するいちごの「あまおう」。「あかい、まるい、おおきい、うまい」の頭文字をとって名づけられただけに、大粒で甘いのが特徴。その美味しさから、誕生するとあっという間に全国区の人気となり、いまや海外にも輸出されるようになっています。また柑橘類も多く作られていますが、最近注目を集めているのが能古島特産のニューサンマーオレンジ。さわやかな甘さと控えめな酸味で、すでにブランド果物として人気があります。

 「あまおう」を使った「あまおうリキュール」や、規格外の玉ねぎを利用して開発された万能ソース「博多炒めもんソース」など、福岡産の素材を使ったさまざまな商品も登場しています。市内には農産物が購入できる直売所や朝市もあちこちにあるので、ぜひ新鮮で美味しい野菜や果物を味わってください。