Serendipity Strikes

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At the end of March my contract in Ichishi (一志) was ending, so I moved to a rental house near the Shinmachi (新町) area of Tsu (津). Because the Board of Education was having trouble finding a new teacher, we extended my contract through last July, necessitating a commute. My preferred route took me down a narrow old road. Partly I took that path to avoid a lot of traffic and signals, but I think my main reason was driving past old traditional buildings instead of gas stations and convenience stores.

One of the places got torn down in the spring and construction of a new place started soon after that. Personally, I find it a shame when we have to say goodbye to the classics and watch some plastic building pop-up. In this case, at least I got the joy of seeing the construction site every day. My geeky engineer side really loves that part of it. Unfortunately, when my contract ended the building wasn’t finished yet.

Last Tuesday I got a call from a school in Ichishi asking me to come in for a planning meeting. At the end of the month I will be putting on some special events for them. Wednesday morning I drove down. On my way there I saw the new building and noticed a “Sale” sign in the window, so I stopped in on the trip home.

Chatting with the shop owner, I discovered that they were having their grand re-opening sale: the doors opened on the new building the day before. Good timing. I was pleased that the building had a nice traditional flair. Turns out that the shop is a soy factory. I took the opportunity to get a little education on soy products while I was there. I grabbed a couple kinds of soy sauce to try on sashimi (刺身) and tsukemono (漬物) respectively.

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4 Responses to “Serendipity Strikes”

  1. Stefanie Says:

    There are more than two kinds of soy sauce? Why am I surprised? Maybe because there is only the choice of generic “soy sauce” and tamari on my grocery shelf.

  2. びっくり Says:

    Not only do they sell a number of varieties (which I might write about in the future), but they also sell various kinds of miso paste.

  3. Stefanie Says:

    yum, miso. I have to learn what to do with it besides make soup one of these days. I’ve seen three kinds of miso paste at the market but I can’t say what the difference is between them other than the color.

  4. びっくり Says:

    One of them is probably akamiso (赤味噌) for making akadashi (赤だし). It has a dark reddish color and a much stronger taste. I prefer soup made with this, but sometimes the basic stuff is good too; especially with butter clams. Today I went to a restaurant (which was closed) and we cooked Japanese food in English. We used miso to make tonjiru which is a kind of pork soup. Oh, wait, I was going to list off a bunch of recipes, but I just realized you are a vegetarian… oops.

    Um… you could make yubeshi, but the flavor is an acquired taste. It is made from yuzu (a kind of citron), miso, and some kind of nut. I’m sure there are a number of vegetarian recipes using miso. Maybe I can give some thought to that.

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