Japan is a culinarily eclectic place, with the nation’s penchant for importing and adapting worldwide meal traits giving us such trendy improvements as Pikachu Cherry Blossoms Afro Pancakes and cheddar cheese tempura. However, one factor that’s been a continuing for lots and heaps of years is that rice is the inspiration of the Japanese food regimen.
That doesn’t imply that the rice people in Japan eat at this time tastes the identical as what their samurai-period ancestors ate, although. We lately discovered a spot in Tokyo that sells rice with the flavor of the Edo interval, the stretch of Japanese historical past from 1603 to 1868, equivalent to the reign of Japan’s final shogunate.
This Edo Rice (or Edomai, because it’s referred to as in Japanese) is obtainable at Sumidaya Shoten, a rice store within the Sumida Ward of Tokyo (which was once referred to as Edo earlier than it grew to become Japan’s official capital). Nonetheless, Edo Rice doesn’t get its title from being grown in Tokyo; however, from being ready utilizing the centuries-old type that was used for rice within the Edo interval.
Because the de facto seat of energy within the day, Edo’s inhabitants wanted extra rice than could possibly be grown close by. Edo rice retailers would purchase rice from across the nation, have it shipped to Edo, rigorously choosing the right regional varieties to mix collectively. Sumidaya Shoten follows this custom with a resident rice connoisseur dealing with the choice; however, the important thing hyperlink to the previous is in how Edo Rice is polished.
In easy phrases, “sharpening” the rice entails buffing the kernels to take away their tough, outer layers. These days, trendy equipment makes it simple to take away as a lot of the outer layer as rice sellers wish to, and eradicating extra of it leads to kernels with a shiny white shade that’s thought-about further-appetizing in Japan.
Edo Rice could appear like the additional-polished stuff, and it has a perfume and taste all its personal. By leaving extra of the higher layers of the kernels intact, Edo Rice has an additional-grainy aroma that entices you to bite right into a mouthful as quickly as doable. When you do, you’re rewarded with a deeper taste than modern rice varieties, one which appears to develop into sweeter and sweeter as you chew and smell it.