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  • Writer's picturePhillip Radcliffe

Famous Iwate Foods

(Japanese translation below)

By Ayumi Takahashi

Iwate became famous when it was ranked second of the “52 Places to Go in 2023” by The New York Times. Iwate is noted for its tourist sites, but the food is not to be missed. Iwate’s foods, from local dishes to recommended meals, sweets, and souvenirs, are popular among locals and tourists. After reading this article, you will surely want to go to Iwate!

Of the 47 Japanese prefectures, Iwate is the second largest after Hokkaido, and each local area has its own unique charms. Once you try the local foods of the countryside, you will surely be addicted to them, and they will warm your heart. There are also many local specialties and products that make the most of the local flavor and features. You can get to know Iwate through its food.

Iwate is famous for three major types of noodles: Reimen, Wanko soba, and Jyajyamian. These are the same noodle dishes, but how they look, how they are eaten, and how they taste are very different. The Reimen is highly recommended. The noodles are very firm and are served with a light, but rich soup made from beef or chicken.

The ingredients vary from restaurant to restaurant and include kimchi, hard boiled-egg, pork, and seasonal fruit. The spiciness of kimchi topped off with fruit is the perfect combination!

Maesawa beef is one of the most famous beef products in Japan. Only cattle grown in Maesawa Oshu City, Iwate, that reach a certain level of quality can claim the designation. It is especially good for the fatty part of the meat, called Shimo, which is fine and moist. There are various ways to eat it, such as shabu-shabu, steak, and sushi, but you can enjoy the flavor no matter how it is prepared.

There are a variety of sweets for the sweets' lover, such as Oshu Potatoes from Fleur Kikuya, a sweets store in Oshu City. The sweet potatoes used in Oshu Potatoes are made from a famous golden sweet potato called Naruto Kintoki. Inside it is custard cream, which is a perfect match for their sweet potatoes. The ingredients are also carefully selected, many of which are grown in Iwate Prefecture.

In addition to Oshu Potatoes, Fleur Kikuya offers a variety of other delicious confections with deep local ties. Known in Iwate as the town’s confectioner, Fleur Kikuya is responsible for many of Iwate’s famous sweets. There are several stores, and you can also order sweets by mail order, but it is recommended that you visit a store as there are some sweets that are only available in town.

There are many other delicious foods in Iwate. All of them are highly recommended. The food culture in Iwate Prefecture varies greatly from region to region. It’s a good idea to visit many places while traveling in Iwate. Don’t forget to check out the souvenirs as well.


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