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[Natural Kanten (Japan Agar)]

Although it is not often heard the words, "It is my favorite food!," kanten is a relatively common food in our daily lives. It seems to have originated from "tokoroten" in Japan. The owner of a certain ryotei in Kyoto in the Edo period (1603-1867) left the leftover tokoroten out of doors, where it froze during the night due to the cold, and was exposed to the sun during the day. We had never heard that the name "kanten" came from "kanzarashi no tokoroten." When it was put back in water, it was said to be clear and good without seaweed taste.

Kanten can be divided into two types according to its manufacturing method: natural kanten called kaku-kanten and ito-kanten, and industrial kanten called kona-kanten. Natural kanten is produced using the traditional method of freezing and drying kanten outdoors, taking advantage of temperature differences. It requires a lot of time and labor, is affected by climatic conditions, and the production period is limited. On the other hand, industrial kanten is produced by artificially extracting kanten from seaweed and can be supplied stably throughout the year, so it is used not only for food but also for cosmetics, air fresheners, and medical research materials. Industrial kanten is easily handled at home, and I used to use it myself. However, I was surprised at the appeal of natural kanten as I researched it.

Natural kanten, which is mainly made from natural kanten, seems to contain a large amount of agaropectin, which has been proven to have rich nutritional effects such as lowering cholesterol. This agaropectin is said to be disposed of in the manufacturing process of industrial kanten. In addition, it was found that the repeated drying in the sun, which is the traditional production method of natural kanten, increases the amount of tasty ingredients and has a high antioxidant effect. Since more than 80% of the kanten, other than water, is dietary fiber, it is perfect for detoxification, intestinal regulation, constipation relief, skin beautification, blood pressure, and even lowering blood glucose levels. Nowadays, various cooking methods have been proposed, so let's give them a try.

In this case, we had kanten topped with dainagon and white bean paste. Using Azmaya's cheese knife, the blade is square so it is easy to cut and remove from the mold. It can also be used like a spatula to put the ingredients on top, making it easy to serve. Of course, it could be cut quickly and easily without crumbling. Summer is just around the corner, and I think it is a time when the body tends to swell due to water adjustment and air conditioning. Detox with kanten first! Let's get through the hot summer.

Azmaya's Cheese knife
https://www.shokunin.com/en/azmaya/cheeseknife.html

References
https://www.itokanten.jp/hpgen/HPB/entries/1.html
https://www.go-nagano.net/theme/id=17997
https://www.makeit.co.jp/hpgen/HPB/entries/79.html