Produced to be Used as Takuan in Fukui
In various areas within Fukui Prefecture, daikon (Japanese white radish) are being dried, in preparation to be used as takuan (pickled daikon). As a farmer working in Fukui Prefecture’s Fukui City, Akihiro Shimada (aged 58) has a field with about ten thousand daikon radishes dehydrating; exposed to the cold winds, the radishes’ umami flavour becomes condensed, producing a sweet aroma lingering in the air.
From six years ago, Shimada has been cultivating “miyashige” (a type of white radish relatively larger than other daikon radishes, and harvested in fall to winter). On December 5th, Shimada’s wife, Miho, also worked hard to help with the cultivation. After being rinsed with water, the roughly 30 centimetre long radishes are tied together in bunches of four, and hung one after another, along a pipe structure installed across the field, measuring 2.5 metres high, and 35 metres long. After dehydrating for roughly two weeks, the radishes are shipped out. It will then be sold within the prefecture’s Japan Agricultural Cooperatives (JA) direct sales markets, and at the Michi-no-Eki (a roadside rest area) located within Sakai City’s Mikuni-cho.
Grown in a field of sandy soil, Shimada has pride in the radishes’ sweetness and white colour.
“Through continuous trial and error, this year’s batch is the best ever. I want the youths to also try the challenge of making tsukemono (pickled food),” says Shimada.