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Cooking contest held to popularise traditional Japanese cuisine

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Tokyo, Dec. 1 : To popularise `Washoku’ or the traditional cuisine of Japan, a cooking competition was recently organized in Tokyo.

Ten chefs from nine countries, who reached the final contest, demonstrated the traditional techniques of Japanese food.

Registered to World’s Intangible Cultural Heritage list, Washoku is being served at over 90,000 places all over the world, excluding Japan.

“I hope Washoku will be introduced all over the world through this event. I declare the start of competition. Please pit your skill,” said MAFF Director Ichiro Takahashi.

Washoku is based on rice with miso soup and other dishes, with an emphasis on seasonal ingredients. The chefs prepared “Furofuki Daikon -radish” using dashi soup.

Usman Khan from Pakistan tried original Udon noodle with leaf and flower.

“Indian Pakistan food is amazing. I love it. But it is always nice to try to difference like Washoku. It is simple food, taste is natural,” he said.

The prize of creative Washoku was awarded to Allan C. Aranas from Philippines.

He created original “Ochaduke” by putting dashi soup on to rice and including citrus fruit flavor.

The judges admired the originality of the dish.

“We are trying to create something original. We are trying Japanese and loco by putting it together,” said Allan C Aranas, a chef from Philippines.

Gonzalo Santiago Bautista from Mexico was declared the best chef as the judges admired his high level skills and sense of taste.

“Washoku is suitable to express creativity for chef. I expect more participants from all over the world,” said MAFF Director Ichiro Takahashi.

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Japan’s All Nippon Airways is also introducing regional beverages and cuisines onboard, at airport lounges and other services, through its ‘Tastes of JAPAN’ campaign.

“We aim to appeal the value of Japan’s boast prefectures, particularly to overseas customers and drive tourism to Japan, and stimulate local economies by boosting consumption of regional agricultural products,” said Osamu Shinobe, President and CEO, All Nippon Airways Corporation.

During the tenth phase of the project, All Nippon Airways will introduce products from Aichi, Gifu and Mie prefectures of Japan in the next one year.

In business class, the passengers can enjoy “Blancmange dessert combo prepared with Matcha – green tea from Aichi Prefecture’s Nishio District and fresh soybean milk”.

An impressive dessert ensemble comprised of two mouth-watering blancmange masterpieces.

One crafted from powdered green tea cultivated in the renowned tea growing district of Nishio in Aichi Prefecture, meticulously molded with fresh soybean milk.

Aichi’s top tea producer, Aiya is the world’s leading Matcha green tea producer, that provides to ANA.

“Nishio is located about one hour from Chubu Centrair International Airport. Blessed with a mild climate and fertile soil, the region of Nishio in Aichi Prefecture is Japan’s foremost producer of Matcha. The origin of Matcha in Nishio dates back for over 800 years in Mid-Kamakura Period. Shoichi Kokushi, a high-rank monk, who found Jisso Temple, brought tea seeds from Song Dynasty and planted the seeds in his temple. That is said to be the beginning of the Nishio tea,” said Mayu Honda, Marketing Development Dept. Aiya Co., Ltd.

Aiya Company has been dedicated in the production quality Matcha tea for over 120 years in the Nishio region.

The handpicked tea buds are fermented and dried to get the perfect flavor and taste. Its stems and veins are removed and only the leaf part is used as ingredients. The tea is then refined and blended, which is called Tencha.

Refined Tencha is processed to be powdered using stone tea grinders to become Matcha, a high class tea. (ANI)