October 2023




[Why do forks have four tines?]

Forks are now used as a very familiar part of our diet. There are many occasions when we use forks, such as when eating pasta, cakes, and fruits. Most forks have four tines. Why do forks have four tines?

The origin of the fork can be traced back to prehistoric times, a time before humans used writing. At that time, the fork's roots were in tools used for farming, rakes used as weapons, or for rituals, and were rarely used for eating. In ancient Greece, a single-tine fork-like tool was used to remove meat from a pot.

It was not until around the 16th century that forks came into common use in Europe. Until then, after cutting meat with a knife, people ate it by hand, to my surprise. The tool used to cut meat from the plate evolved from the traditional one-tine fork to a two- or three-tine fork. Then, in the 18th century, in the 1770s, King Ferdenando II of Naples ordered spaghetti to be served to entertain foreign dignitaries. However, spaghetti, which was a common people's food, was usually eaten by hand, which was very unsightly, and it was very difficult to eat with a three-tine fork. In order to make eating spaghetti more elegant, Spadaccini, a ceremonial official who was a member of his family, improved the traditional fork. He developed a four-tine fork that could easily twirl spaghetti. This improved fork was eventually favored by the common people, and it is said that it came to be used for eating in ordinary households as well.

Futagami's cast brass surface is used for the handle, and its rough surface provides a firm grip when you hold the fork in your hand. The part that touches the mouth is silver-plated, and lead-free brass, a proprietary development, is used to control workability, strength, and color. What is impressive is the lightweight feel of the product, which is quite different from its appearance. Please enjoy the contrast between brass and silver, the glossy feel in your mouth, and the smooth texture of the cast skin when you hold it in your hand.

Futagami's Fork L *Due to contract restrictions, we are unable to ship overseas, so please purchase at our showrooms.
Showroom Information

『頭のいい子が育つ! 子どもに話したい雑学』(KADOKAWA)多湖 輝





[Matcha Green Tea]

Matcha has been gaining attention overseas for its health benefits and has gone from being a boom to becoming a standard item. There are cafes and stands specializing in matcha in New York, Hawaii, and other tourist destinations. In Paris, France, there is even a museum where visitors can experience a full-scale tea ceremony. Powdered matcha is rich in catechins, a type of polyphenol that is an antioxidant. It is said to help prevent chronic diseases by reducing cell damage. Matcha is also rich in vitamin K and lutein, both of which are known to improve cognitive functions such as alertness and memory, and may also play an active role in preventing infectious diseases and other benefits.

It's been about the past 10 days, but recently I've been waking up a bit earlier and having a cup of matcha before getting ready in the morning. I boil water in an iron kettle, warm the matcha bowl, whisk the matcha with a tea whisk, and drink it. It's just this, the deep green color and aroma of the matcha, the finely foamed surface, the texture of the matcha bowl, and the sound of whisking the matcha with the tea whisk - all of these pleasantly stimulate the senses. It's as if the senses that were asleep just a moment ago are slowly awakening and blossoming. Through this sequence of events, I realized that what's most pleasant of all is being able to experience my two favorite sensations, "relaxation and concentration," simultaneously.

There are many ways to enjoy matcha, but how about making a matcha latte at home, like you would find in a café, for example, during an active day? In Hirota Glass's Sori Yanagi Wine Glass L, add milk and ice with condensed milk or gum syrup dissolved in it. Gently pour in the matcha tea that has been brewed in a Koizumi Glass's Flat Bottom Evaporating Dish 120mm. Mix lightly with a muddler before drinking.

Kyoto, where Shokunin.com is headquartered, is home to many long-established matcha shops. Ippodo Tea, founded in 1717 and located in Teramachi Nijo, is one of them. They offer a wide selection of matcha teas, from individually wrapped matcha sticks to authentic matcha teas. Ippodo Tea is a 12-minute walk from the Sanjo Showroom. The matcha purchased during a trip has a special flavor that revives the memories of the journey in Kyoto. You can find the matcha of your choice, and the style of matcha you prefer.

Matcha Latte

1 teaspoon matcha tea (about 2 to 3 g) *Adjust matcha thickness to taste
150ml milk
50ml hot water
Condensed milk or gum syrup to taste
Ice to taste

1. Pour milk into a glass, dissolve the desired amount of condensed milk or gum syrup, and add ice.
2. Add 1 teaspoon (approximately 2 to 3 g) of matcha to 50 ml of hot water cooled to about 70 to 80 degrees Celsius, and stir using a tea whisk. Alternatively, put matcha and hot water in a shaker or water bottle and shake to foam the matcha.
3. Pour 2 slowly into 1 glass.

Hirota Glass's Sori Yanagi Wine Glass L
Koizumi Glass's Flat Bottom Evaporating Dish 120mm
Chobundo's Tetsubin
Azmaya's Yuzamashi
Ippodo Tea
Sanjo Showroom





[Yukihira Pot]

The aluminum "yukihira pot" comes to mind when thinking of one-handled pots. It can be used for boiling water, miso soup, simmered dishes, instant ramen, and all-around cooking, so many people probably use it as a standard practical pot.

The yukihira pot is said to be named after the legend that Yukihira, the elder brother of the well-known Heian-period poet and courtier Ariwara no Narihira, had his sisters ama (women divers) draw seawater to bake salt when he was exiled from Kyoto to Suma (Kobe City, Hyogo Prefecture). The legendary story of the two sisters, Matsukaze and Murasame, who were ama (women divers), is also featured in the famous Noh play "Matsukaze," in memory of their noble lover, Yukihira, who had left them. In the Ogura Hyakunin Isshu (One Hundred Poems of Ogura), there is a waka poem that Yukihira wrote to the sisters.

"立ち別れ いなばの山の 峰に生ふる まつとし聞かば 今帰り来む"

It means, "This is goodbye, but if you say, 'I will wait for you here forever,' like the pine trees that grow on the mountains of Inaba, I will come back immediately." The reason why the "pine" tree is mentioned in the poem is because in Japanese, "pine" and "wait" are pronounced the same. This poem is still known as a cat-returning spell to call back a missing pet cat.

Yukihira pot (行平鍋) is also written as "雪平鍋" or "ゆきひら鍋." There are two versions: "行平鍋," named after Yukihira's name, and "雪平鍋," named after the word "雪 (snow)" and Yukihira's own name, because the salt in the pot looked like snow when he had his sisters, ama (women divers), make salt. Another theory is that the hammered pattern of the pot looks like snow.

Yukihira pot was originally used to cook porridge in an earthenware pot. It was a deep ceramic pot with a handle, lid, and spout. Cooking rice and porridge in earthenware pots allows amylase, an enzyme that breaks down starch into saccharides, to work more effectively and brings out the sweetness and umami of the rice because of the low thermal conductivity and slow temperature rise. The rice can also be eaten warm because it retains its temperature well. The widely distributed, lightweight, inexpensive aluminum version became popular in the mid-1950s.

Today, yukihira pots are available in a variety of materials, including aluminum, copper, and stainless steel. Pots made of aluminum are ideal for quickly boiling water because of its high thermal conductivity. There were no lids so that the pots could be easily stacked and stored without taking up too much space for commercial use. The hammered pattern on the bottom and sides of yukihira pots is intended to increase the pot's strength and heat conductivity. Copper is more expensive, but it also offers higher thermal conductivity, sterilization, and corrosion resistance, as well as the ability to change color over time as it is used more and more. Please try using yukihira pots and pans, each of which has its own unique characteristics.

Matsuyama Tokojo's Atatamenabe and Yukihira Pot
Nakamura Douki's Copper-Made Yukihira Pot