April 2021

Shibazuke,_at_Yoshinoya

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A typical Japanese wholesome breakfast would include rice, miso soup, and pickles, and one of the most popular pickles is shibazuke, a traditional Kyoto-style, naturally fermented pickle made by soaking vegetables such as cucumbers and eggplants with shiso in salt and letting them mature in a barrel for a long time.

Shibazuke is characterized by the aroma of red shiso and the sour taste of lactic acid bacterium, and is called one of the three major pickles in Kyoto, along with suguki and senmaizuke.

In recent years, the main ingredients, mixed with salt and placed in barrels, are pressed down with stones and allowed to mature. It is no exaggeration to say that it is the weight of these stones that determines the vivid color and taste of shibazuke, which is brewed by lactic acid bacteria, and is the result of the manual work of skilled craftsmen.

Shibazuke originated in Ohara, Kyoto, home to ancient temples such as Sanzenin, and is said to have a history of over 800 years. It is said that the origin of the name comes from the fact that Kenreimonin, the only survivor of the Heike clan that perished in the Battle of Dan-no-ura, called it "purple-pickle (shibazuke)" because of the color of the shiso leaves.

The Ohara Basin, where there is a difference in temperature between morning and evening, is a land where good shiso grows, and the red shiso that has been carefully protected and nurtured is highly valued.

Making the most of what is unique to a place is not only limited to such products as vegetables, but also to the history and culture that can only be found in that place. Through our process of creating a world enterprise from craftsmen of our own country, we want to provide people with the awareness that "we can do something from our country's traditional techniques."

Under such goal, we provide various variable handicrafts, including Azmaya's Inban Mamezara and Koishiwara ware's Plate, which are perfect for serving Shibazuke. Please have a look at our online page for more detail.

Azmaya's Inban Mamezara
https://www.shokunin.com/en/azmaya/inbanmame.html
Koizumi Glass's Schale
https://www.shokunin.com/en/koizumi/schale.html

References:
http://kyoudo-ryouri.com/food/2540.html
https://www.shibakyu.jp/shibazuke/
https://www.mag2.com/p/news/120636/2
https://ideasforgood.jp/2020/04/21/kyoto-shibazuke/
https://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E6%9F%B4%E6%BC%AC

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["Le Petit Mec," Love for France Overflowing from Its Bread]

When it comes to popular bakeries in the Imadegawa area of Kyoto City, we're sure many people would mention Le Petit Mec. The bakery is an authentic French-style bakery located near Imadegawa Omiya, east of Kitano Tenmangu Shrine. The bread made by skilled artisans who are full of love for France and select safe and secure ingredients has been highly evaluated by visiting French bakers and chefs as "the most French" bread in Japan.

On Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays, when the store is open, customers come from near and far to enjoy the freshly baked bread. The store is all in red, from the exterior to the tablecloths, sofas, and even the cards with descriptions of the bread. This is why the locals nicknamed it "Red Mec." There is also an eat-in area where you can eat your purchased bread inside. You can also have large loaves of bread cut into small pieces for easy eating.

We recommend the croissants, which are so popular that some people buy them in piles on trays to take home. The moist texture and exquisite sweetness will make you want to make a repeat purchase every time you visit the store. This time, in addition to the croissant, we chose the Milk French with Rum Raisins and the Provence-Style Chicken. Illy's espresso-based bittersweet coffee enhances the taste of the bread.

Le Petit Mec has stores in Hibiya, Tokyo, and Shinsaibashi, Osaka, in addition to Kyoto City, where you can find the same delicious bread as at the main store. Be sure to try the authentic French style bread from Kyoto.

Le Petit Mec
https://lepetitmec.com/
Imadegawa Showroom (Open from 14:00-17:00 on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday)
https://www.shokunin.com/en/showroom/imadegawa.html