豆腐の旅パート4:豆腐(さいご)Tofu Journey Chapter 4: Tofu (the last!)




It’s been a while since the last post. But the tofu journey has been going at its own pace. The first job that the renewed millstone undertook was making mamenko, roasted fava bean flower. It’s another Oshima local treat that is dying out.

カラを飛ばします winnowing


カナヅチで荒いのを砕く Hammer the coarse pieces
Hammer the coarse pieces


The procedure is simple —roast the dried beans well, grind once, winnow out the tough skin, and grind again. It is simple yet takes quite a bit of effort and time. The beans are ground and sifted repeatedly, sometimes using a hammer to crush bigger pieces, until becoming a very fine flour. I mentioned to the woman instructing me that I liked coarsely ground flour too, but teacher Matsuno san remembered her grandmother-in-law would repeat the process tenaciously to achieve the light fine powder. It was a special treat that only old people had time to make, and the treat had to be the finest quality. It is eaten in the same way as the roasted soy bean flour that is common throughout Japan and East Asia, but it has a distinctive flavour. Slightly sour, I might say.


とろ〜り流れ落ちる呉 Ground beans make interesting patterns
Ground beans make interesting patterns
濃厚な香りがしてきます Almost boiling
Almost boiling

As for tofu, another old set of millstones has been on duty. Brett the carpenter made the handle, the shaft, and the frame on which the stones sit. We went to the furthest end of a remote beach to get clean sea water and made tofu, somewhat dubious but edible. That was almost a year ago! Time flies by. Since then we’ve made it with various guests and the quality has increased each time. The low rumbling of the stones, the sight of foamy milk coming out of them, the sweet aroma of fresh soy milk, and the defining moment when soy milk turns into tofu…all these elements add extra flavour to the end product. Oshima tofu is rustic and sturdy yet tender, much like its local producers. We hope you come and experience it with us!

この作業の後は「豆腐を見る目が変わった」そうです "I'll look at tofu differently after this"
“I’ll look at tofu differently after this”



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