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Hokuriku/Fukui Party for comparing the tastes of various Mizu-yokans (soft sweet bean jelly) in winter, 2016 vol.3-4, "Opening"

2018.02.15

Food Culture

tearoom Niho

"Mizu-yokan is not just a food and it is a culture which you should enjoy the package design, the films to prevent dryness, instructions, spoons." (as excerpted from the party's Facebook page)
Mike Yokohama, who is a photographer, a visual creator, identifies himself as "A fan of Mizu-yokan (soft sweet bean jelly) culture" and he holds "Party for comparing the tastes of various Mizu-yokans" several times every winter since 2012. The third party of this season was held at a tearoom "Niho" within the premise of Fukui Prefectural Art Museum. "Niho"'s special menu is literally "Mizu-yokan Parfait" but they didn't serve on that day. Anyway many people attended the party and it was even divided into two parts.
So the tearoom was filled with the guests until just after 20:00.

 

For the opening, Mike speaks about the attraction of Mizu-yokan with each shop's packages in his hand, which are classified as "Reddish color series" "Sweet bean's color/Reddish brown series" and "Others series".

 

Egawa

Perhaps the most familiar Mizu-yokan of Fukui is this Egawa's one with "Reddish color series" package. Mike says, it is "The world's biggest-selling Mizu-yokan." However, they prepared one with sweet beans. So what kinds of impressions the guests who are familiar with normal Egawa's one have?

 

Matsuoka-ken

In fact, the most common package for Mizu-yokan is "Sweet bean's color/Reddish brown series". On this simple package of "Matsuoka-ken", it is written as "One sheet pouring" which is a feature of Fukui's Mizu-yokan.

 

Nishisaka

Among the "Sweet bean's color/Reddish brown series", "Nishisaka"'s package with a local famous place Tojinbo Cliffs. Mike likes the package as it has abundant local color.

 

越前水仙と書かれた白いパッケージ

Meanwhile, he talks about "Asahi Fugetsu-do"'s package. Because the package is white but written as "Echizen Suisen(Daffodils in Fukui). After a while, I noticed that daffodils put on the outside table were shown up at the back of Mike's hand holding this package by chance.

 

newcomer Nogi

"Nogi" is a traditional Japanese cake shop in Takefu(Echizen City) which joined the day without prior application and the person of the shop brought one personally. Although the shop is a long-established store, they started to make "Mizu-yokan" 50 years ago. That means, it is still a newcomer in the "Mizu-yokan" world.

 

水ようかんの箱が並ぶ会場

After the speech, it is the time of comparing the tastes. A lot of packages of Mizu-yokan are displayed on the long table by the window. The details of the comparing the tastes will be introduced in Part2.

 

Reference : Excerpted from the handouts of the day "Party for comparing the tastes of various Mizu-yokans(soft sweet bean jelly) in winter. 2016 vol.3-4"

The definition by Mike Yokohama who is a fan of Mizu-yokan culture. (Revised on Jan. 18th, 2014)

  1. One sheet pouring
  2. Brown sugar is used
  3. With spoon
  4. With instruction
  5. One which meets at least three of the above four.

Mizu-yokan is not just a food and it is a culture which you should enjoy the package design, the films to prevent dryness, instructions, spoons together. So it would be a waste to talk only about it is delicious or not.

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