Edamame Season” starts in September? Edamame Kingdom: Nagaoka Citizens’ Love for Edamame | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Edamame Season” starts in September? Edamame Kingdom: Nagaoka Citizens’ Love for Edamame

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Farmers say, ‘I don’t want to make edamame in the fall next year,’ but they do it every year.”

Edamame with chilled beer…… is a hot summer treat. However,

However, it is not well known that the best season for edamame is from September, and in fact, edamame is most delicious in autumn.

Mr. Satoshi Otake, who is working to promote Nagaoka City’s edamame at the Nagaoka City Agriculture and Fisheries Policy Division, says, “It is said that it is the season of taste in autumn.

As they say, “Autumn is the season of taste,” and crops harvested in autumn, such as sweet potatoes and chestnuts, have a sweet taste. The same goes for edamame. Edamame harvested in autumn grow slowly in a climate with a large temperature difference between day and night, so they are sweet and delicious.

Edamame is indispensable to the tables of Nagaoka citizens. One to two kilograms (!) of edamame are boiled at a time (PHOTO). (PHOTO: Courtesy of Nagaoka City)

However, it is only in July and August that edamame are sold in supermarkets and other stores. Is summer not the season?

One of the reasons why large quantities of edamame appear in summer is because of demand, but it is also due to the convenience of cultivation. One of the reasons for the popularity of edamame cultivation in Niigata Prefecture is that in the past, due to the policy of reducing rice acreage, rice was shifted to edamame.

Rice farmers are very busy during the rice planting and harvesting season, so when cultivating to avoid this, edamame is easiest to produce, which can be harvested in August. That is why edamame is marketed in large quantities during the summer.

That is why Niigata, Akita, Yamagata, Miyagi, and other rice-producing prefectures are among the top 10 edamame producers. ……

But then, don’t they already produce edamame in the fall?

Nagaoka City has edamame called “Koshi Issun” and “Sakanamame,” which are harvested in September and October. These are planted in late June, but they grow slowly and are harvested in autumn. That is why they are so delicious.

Even though it is the time of rice harvest, rice farmers in Nagaoka City are also harvesting edamame.

They get up at 4 a.m., harvest the edamame, and harvest the rice after breakfast, so it’s a lot of work. Everyone says, ‘I don’t want to make edamame in the fall next year,’ but they do it every year. That’s how much they want to eat the tasty edamame. Nagaoka citizens’ love for edamame is second to none.

Nagaoka edamame sold by variety. The products that were piled up in the morning are just like this in the afternoon (PHOTO: Courtesy of Nagaoka City).

It’s like a general election for idols…the edamame on the shelves change with popularity!

Edamame eaten in Nagaoka is delicious. The berries are plump and have a strong flavor. However, for some reason, one rarely sees edamame produced in Nagaoka in supermarkets in the Tokyo metropolitan area.

Niigata Prefecture ranks first in the nation in terms of edamame acreage, but sixth or seventh in terms of the amount of edamame shipped.

Niigata Prefecture is rooted in edamame as part of its food culture, and I love edamame. They eat them themselves or sell them to their neighbors before shipping them out, and they consume them within the prefecture. Although we are not the largest producer of edamame in the prefecture, Nagaoka citizens think we are the best when it comes to edamame.

At supermarkets in Nagaoka City, edamame are sold with labels such as “Hatsudaruma,” “Yokei,” “Otsunahime,” and “Yuagari Musume. Each has its own favorite variety, and Nagaoka citizens buy the variety of their choice. About 10 varieties of edamame are sold from the end of June to the beginning of October,

The cooperative carries about 10 varieties of edamame,” he said. The cooperative handles about 10 varieties, but farmers grow other varieties as well, and there are probably about 20 varieties of edamame in Nagaoka.

If a farmer or farmers involved in the cooperative try a particular edamame and say, ‘This one tastes better,’ the farmers and cooperative members actually try it and switch their lineups. It’s like holding a general election for idols every year.

The reason they do this, he says, is because Nagaoka citizens are particular about their edamame, wanting to eat the best tasting edamame possible.

The taste is reduced by half in a day or two…at temperatures above 20 degrees Celsius, the “umami” component is lost all at once!

There seem to be a lot of edamame in Nagaoka, which I have never heard of in Tokyo. Are they making efforts to improve the varieties?

The only varieties that originated in Nagaoka are “Koshi Issun,” which is harvested from mid to late September, and “Sakanamame,” which is harvested from late September to early October. For example, “Yuagari Musume” is a variety that originated in Gunma Prefecture and is widely produced throughout Japan.

However, edamame sold in Tokyo may be labeled as “00-grown,” but the variety is not known.

Even if the beans are from the “00” variety, I think the variety changes depending on the time of year. I am sure that Yuagari-musume also enjoys them.”

Is that so? But the taste is different from the one I had in Nagaoka. ……

Edamame is all about freshness; it loses its flavor in a day or two. In Nagaoka, the edamame was harvested that day, so it must have tasted good. Moreover, edamame are sensitive to heat, and if they are left in a place over 20 degrees Celsius for even a moment, they lose all their sugar and amino acids (umami ingredients) at once and lose their deliciousness.”

So, do Nagaoka’s edamame lose their flavor in years like this one, when the heat wave continues?

In Nagaoka, edamame are put into a vacuum pre-cooler after harvesting to prevent the temperature from rising. Even farmers who do not have such facilities place edamame in a refrigerator or ice water immediately after harvesting to prevent the temperature from rising. They take the time and effort to produce better tasting edamame.

After harvesting, the beans are immediately soaked in ice water. Nagaoka citizens are proud to be part of the “edamame kingdom” and spare no pains to make their edamame tasty (PHOTO: Courtesy of Nagaoka City).

They are also particular about the time of harvest.

Edamame is not good when it is too skinny, and it loses its flavor and aroma when the fruit is too dry. The sweetest and tastiest edamame is harvested when the fruit is about 80% of its original size.

Not only in Nagaoka, but also in Niigata, the harvest is done after checking that the berries are 80% full, which is why many of them are so tasty.

Even during the busy rice harvesting season, he checks the condition of the beans and cools the harvested edamame. With all this time and effort, it is perhaps no surprise that they are so tasty.

If you think that such delicious edamame is not available in Tokyo, please visit ……,

Nagaoka City’s best “Koshi Issun” is handled by some major supermarket chains. In addition, you can receive edamame as a tax return gift or have them sent directly from the farmers. We hope you will enjoy our seasonal edamame.

Koshi Issun” is Nagaoka City’s most popular product. The land that used to be rice paddies, which are no longer used for rice cultivation due to the policy of reducing rice acreage, is now an edamame field. The soil is different from that of rice paddies, and it is difficult to grow vegetables in general, but it is suitable for growing edamame.
  • Interview and writing Izumi Nakagawa

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