Translated by Miri S.
5 Rare Ingredients You Can Only Buy at Aoyama Farmer's Market
Written by IshizawaYoshinori
Probably many of you think that you can find everything at a supermarket.
Well, it is normal to think in that way but actually, there are thousands of ingredients that you can only find at food fairs and roadside stations.
In this article, we will introduce to you some rare stuffs we found at Aoyama Farmer's Market we visited the other day.
Colourful pickles and bottled paste
Just by looking at these, you want to open the bottles and eat them. The Western-style pickles would add colours to your dining table and even to your refrigerator. In this booth, they were selling "home-made pickles goods" as well. With these goods, you can make pickles with your favourite vegetables.
At Aoyama Farmer's Market, there were several seasonings specialty shops as well.
As shown in this picture, there were very rare and quality seasonings such as chili oil, aromatic fish sauce made with sweet fish, citron pepper, black seven-flavoured spices and so on. If you choose quality vegetables, you should choose the best seasonings. To enjoy "the Japanese taste", you might want to try special seasonings rather than mass-produced ones.
- Sesame oil specialty shop "Yamaguchi Goma Honten"
Here is sesame oil specialty shop called "Yamaguchi Goma Honten". As sesame oil was extracted here, the place was filled with the sesame-oil fragrance. When we asked to a staff, he explained that this shop's sesame oil is made in a very special method. With Japanese traditional extracting method, they extract sesame oil slowly and carefully.
That is, the taste and flavour don't deteriorate with the effect of heat. When I took a sip, the rich fragrance filled my mouth and then the sweetness of sesame comes through.
Broil and bite into bamboo shoots
Massive! With this size in the picture, it is only ￥800. (It was ￥500 on Sunday afternoon, as the shop is about to close.)
You just want to broil one and bite it, don't you? The best way to have this kind of just-harvested bamboo shoots is to broil and eat them with salt. Crunchy texture, tasty juice you can savor every time you bite it --- You can enjoy the fragrance of spring.
Organic Tosayama gingers
These gingers were made without using an agrochemical. After washing the surface of the ginger, you can chop it with the skin on or grate it. This is truly "organic". Without relying on an agrochemical or chemical fertilizer, these gingers were grown with the help of the sun, water, land and microorganism. They are not just tasty but also safe.
Also, this is ginger ale made with these gingers. We could try one.
I tried "dry" one; it was very juicy with the condensed ginger juice and soda. I bought one.
Just arrived this morning. Chinese yam made in Aomori
We were surprised at the poster saying "Just arrived this morning!". The staff said that those yams are sent from Aomori as required.
As they are sent directly from the growing area, they are very fresh. Freshness is crucial because fresh Chinese yams are chewy, tasty and sticky.
By the way, Aomori is not just famous for apples but also for Chinese yams and garlics. Especially, garlics from Aomori have condensed taste but don't smell bad. They are VERY tasty. If you put a peeled garlic in tin foil, pour olive oil on them and bake them in an oven for a few minutes, you can have a gorgeous whole garlic.
Also on this day, "black garlics" you can see in the picture were sold out, of course.
You can have a chat with producers
So what's so great about this marche? Although being able to find rare ingredients is great, you can also "you can talk with producers directly". You can ask them how to cook the ingredients sold at their shops, how to preserve them and so on.
Then you can make up your mind and buy some. The quality of chat and taste are both priceless.
Aoyama Farmer's Market @UNU
Address：5-53-70, Jingu-mae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
Menu in different languages：N/A
Station：Omotesando Station of Ginza line, Hanzomon line and Chiyoda line
Access：Walk straight from B2 Exit of Omotesando Station. Approx.3 mins
Price：￥50〜(Seasoning are around ￥1000)
Phone：03-5459-4934（Farmer's Market Office）