4 Japanese produce you should try this autumn!
We feature Japanese autumn produce and what to look for at Japanese restaurants this season!
HungryGoWhere’s Do You Know Series #1
Autumn is a special season for Japanese produce, as it is associated with the annual rice harvest. The traditional season for food and dining, autumn, which lasts from September to November, is also when you can get to taste what Japan’s farms and orchards have to offer.
We have picked out the must-try fruits and vegetables that you should look out for at Japanese restaurants this season:
1. Chestnuts (Kuri)
In Japan, people know it’s autumn when the smell of freshly roasted chestnuts fill the air at street food stalls, supermarkets, and even train stations.
Japanese chestnuts are typically much bigger than the China-grown ones we commonly see in Singapore. While the Chinese variety is usually about the size of a 50-cent coin, Japanese chestnuts are as large as a ping pong ball. Japanese chestnuts also have softer flesh and a sweeter taste.
Look out for signature dishes such as chestnut rice, or in desserts like Japanese Mont Blanc.
2. Mushrooms (Kinoko)
Available most of the year, Japanese mushrooms reach their peak season in autumn. Popular mushroom varieties include the popular shiitake, to the slightly less common ones such as shimeji and maitake.
The king of mushrooms, matsutake, is an autumn-only special and can only be found at the base of pine trees (matsu) during this season. Because they are only found on forest trees and cannot be farmed, they are very rare and among the most expensive in the world.
3. Japanese Sweet Potato (Satsuma Imo)
Roasted Japanese sweet potatoes (yaki imo) has become a popular snack in Singapore. Satsuma imo is at its most abundant and delicious in autumn, when farmers harvest it just before winter sets in.
Besides yaki imo, Japanese sweet potatoes can also be found in many other desserts, such as pastries and cakes.
4. Japanese Pumpkin (Kabocha)
Unlike its American cousins, the Japanese pumpkin is probably not a good candidate for a Halloween carving due to its much smaller size. However, this delicious pumpkin is perfect for a wide range of dishes and tastes the best in autumn.
Restaurants serve it in a variety of ways, but look out for kabocha tempura and croquettes, which are perfect menu choices for the whole family. Some chefs may also present kabocha as dessert items.
This educational series is an initiative by HungryGoWhere to help readers have a more informed and enjoyable dining experience.
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