National symbol: expensively, but it is necessary. What mushroom is worshipped in Japan?
forgot to Pick up them - in drops of
dew the Family of mushrooms “.
Combination of figures “ 36,6 “ it is peculiar not only to a healthy human body. The same temperature - it is natural, Celsius - the Japanese rice " vodka has to have; " sake; when it is drunk late fall. Speak, warmed up by sake well goes to a dank and slushy season under sashimi - the crude fish cut by strips. However, it is unlikely more hotly sakes eat whole a glass á mi - risky whether you know. There is nothing better than hot " soup in the winter; nabe “ (besides under sake if who wishes). I do not know, did not try. Perhaps it also is tasty. It is difficult to judge things about which you have only speculative impression so far.
Japan which is almost isolated from other world even to the middle of the 19th century is still mainly perceived as something exotic, far and obscure. And Samurais at them are active swords, and there to the ezheutreena sing the anthem of the native company, and eat noodles with sticks, and in general … They are unlike us!
However, as well as we on them. At each corner of the world - the culture, the traditions which preservation gives the chance to keep the originality, the unique shade on the general world palette. And just at Japanese is to a lot of things here to learn. Including in such eternally actual sphere as cookery. Japanese cuisine is something special! However, for the last 50 - 60 years it - as, however, and kitchens of other people - did not avoid influence of modern realities. Various modifications “ fast food “ get also into the land of the rising sun. For example, instant soups, popcorn, chips and hamburgers. True judges of national traditions in process of opportunities opposed this process. But nevertheless to be fenced off from low-nutritious, and at times and Japanese did not manage fast food options, low-useful to health. Nevertheless, they, with peculiar to them, we will not be afraid of this word, archaic wisdom, tried though in some degree “ to yaponizirovat “ transatlantic forage. As a result there were potato chips with seasonings from seaweed, spaghetti with treskovy caviar, habitual for taste of islanders, ice cream with addition of green tea...
However Japanese do not seek to advance selflessly at themselves similar symbioses at all, refusing own gastronomic gains. They hold four golden rules of national cookery sacred: small volume of portions; freshness and compliance to a season; proximity to a natural, initial type of a product; preservation of vitamins and mineral substances. And here one of key positions is traditionally occupied by mushrooms. These capricious creations (they make a separate kingdom, without treating neither an animal, nor flora) are one of the major products in Japanese cuisine. And the 7th century their role in a diet of Japanese even more increased in connection with distribution in the country of the Buddhism forbidding consumption of meat. Nowadays, at all respect for the Buddhism, Japanese willingly eat both meat, and fish, however in many dishes of a traditional cuisine mushrooms remain a basic product. They are recommended to be trained separately and only at the end if necessary to mix with other components.
The tsar - a mushroom
Considering one of mentioned “ golden rules “ Japanese especially diligent lean on mushrooms in the fall - together with fried chestnuts and noodles from buckwheat flour. However, it is possible and separately, nobody forces anybody.
For example, the shiitake mushrooms growing on trunks of oaks are very popular. In the south of the country is engaged in their cultivation, esteem, each village. Technology here following: in the fall oak logs are prepared, in the winter they are dried up under canopies, in the spring in them holes in which fungal spores are put are drilled. In one and a half years the first harvest then siitake collect two times a year, in the fall and in the spring, within several next years grows ripe. Since recent time siitake began to grow up on briquettes from the pressed sawdust. However, according to gourmets, all this is not that in comparison with the presents “ oak “.
And the mushroom, most popular in Japan, is called matsutake (in translation from Japanese - something it seems “ podsosnovnik “) . This is really the tsar - a mushroom - both to taste, and at the price. Not without reason in Japan treat him with a special piety. This delicacy similar in appearance to a big honey agaric, with a fleshy leg and a hat, is collected only in the early fall in mountainous areas. Mainly - in the western part of the island of Honshu where the Rocky Mountains with sour soils prevail. Character at this mushroom really samurai: matsutake - the only Japanese mushroom which grows only under natural conditions. It is not possible to tame him! Not incidentally the scientists struggling with artificial cultivation matsutake say: the one who will find a solution is worthy the Nobel Prize.
Centuries matsutake took a place of honor on tables of emperors, shoguns and grandees. The glorified writers Yosa Buson (see an epigraph) and Kobayasi Issah which names new blossoming of a poetic genre " contacts devoted it penetrating lines; hokku “. To find at least several mushrooms were considered as a great luck at once. “ Young my satellites, craving for production, aspired forward and forward, everyone strove to overtake another, I, considerably having lagged behind them, looked for slowly, carefully examining each plot of land, and, eventually, found the whole five mushrooms matsutake, everyone - size about a small reed " hat; (Yosa Buson).
Depending on a form and the size, one local matsutake in Japan at retail costs from 2000 to 4000 yens (17 - 35 dollars). For three mushrooms it is necessary to lay out up to 12 thousand yens (about 100 dollars). And for kilogram - to 70 thousand yens (about 620 dollars). So matsutake - not food consumer goods. Therefore more often this mushroom is used not as a main course, and as a garnish. For example, at restaurants of traditional Japanese cuisine the rice dish with the cut cubes chicken meat and matsutake is popular. One more popular dish - dobinmusa soup. It prepares so: to cut mushrooms pieces, to connect to shrimps, fish fillet and nuts gingko. To lay ingredients in a small teapot (Japanese, but not such to which we got used), to pour a little transparent broth. To bring to boiling; when ingredients gain softness and juiciness - means, is already ready. Soup spreads in cups. For giving of a piquancy and a subtlety will not prevent to squeeze out in soup a half of the Japanese lemon “ pike perches “.
Half-kingdoms for a symbol!
Nevertheless, in domestic market of this product chronically is not enough. To the middle of 1970 - x own collecting was reduced to several hundred tons per year. The main reason of it was seen in sharp reduction of the space occupied by a local endemic - a red pine: this tree provides a microclimate in which develop matsutake under the paws. Poskripev teeth, Japanese decided on import - from Canada, China, North and South Korea and even from Morocco. Today without import not to live at all: nearly 97% realized in the country matsutake are the share of it. Though admits - by the way, not only Japanese, - that real Japanese matsutake is more tasty and more fragrant. But import is rather cheaper.
From import matsutake the Korean are considered as the best: most likely, because, that a local environment is especially close to Japanese. So the slightest failure in deliveries is perceived nearly as the national tragedy from there. And that can quite occur if the authorities of Democratic People`s Republic of Korea go - for the conceived export reduction matsutake. Perhaps, some reorientation of export to other regions is planned. Or perhaps North Koreans led by companion Kim Jong Il try to use a refined delicacy for strengthening of ties with South Korean brothers? In total - politicians - mainly men (so far), so, through a stomach the way and to their heart lies … For example, a few years ago Kim Jong Il presented to the leader of South Korea of that time But Mu Hyon really imperial gift - four tons matsutake. By the end of the three-day summit in Pyongyang to the border dividing two Korean states by trucks five hundred boxes with mushrooms were adjusted even. “ Thank you very much. I will divide them according to will of the one who presented them to us “ - reacted But Mu Hyon.
So matsutake it is capable to promote the solution of questions of the state importance. In Japan in 2002 - the m in this regard in general burst real “ mushroom scandal “: the press visited that during his visit to Democratic People`s Republic of Korea companion Kim presented to the prime minister Dzyunitjiro Koizumi 300 boxes of delicious mushrooms. It was necessary to justify itself to the secretary general of the cabinet of Japan Yasuo Fukuda. “ I do not know where these mushrooms. Unless it is really so important? “ - with astonishment Fukuda asked hungry Japanese journalists.
Means, important. The national symbol everything is. Equal as it appears, to samurai spirit, poetic genres of a hokku and the tank, fight of karate and the mountain Fujiyama. And it is necessary to be respectful to symbols. Isn`t it?]