Echizen Soba, Coated with Chocolate

Echizen Soba, Coated with Chocolate

Anticipating Demand for Christmas and Valentines Day

The Echizen Pottery Manufacturing Cooperative (越前焼工業協同組合, located in Echizen Town, Fukui Prefecture) has begun selling a gift set, which includes a snack of chocolate-overhead fried Echizen soba noodles and a sake cup specially made in Echizen. The product has been named “Soba Chocolate” (そばちょこ), taking inspiration from the packaged chocolate (チョコ, “CHOKO) and sake cup (おちょこ, “OCHOKO”). Filled with the charm of Fukui, order are anticipated in conjunction with Christmas, Valentines Day, and as a souvenir.

The product’s design director, Junichi Inoue (of Minami-Echizen Town), has been working with the concept in his mind for many years, until finally having a chance to present it to the cooperative, and being able to proceed with development.

The sweets are prepared by the soba shop “Oshouzuan” (御清水庵, located in Echizen City), and the traditional sweets shop “Cakeya yanagimoto” (けーきやyanagimoto, located in Sabae City). Fried Echizen soba noodles are coated with chocolate, and then covered with soba seeds. The first bite will begin with the bittersweet flavour of the chocolate; gradually, the aromatic flavour and saltiness of the soba will fill the palate. It can be enjoyed with a swerving of Japanese liquor, whiskey, or shochu.

The Echizen-made sake cup is produced by Yuuki Yoshikawa (of Echizen Town), a young potter part of the cooperative. Available in blue or white, it has a modern design. Echizen washi is used for wrapping.

“It’s an original chocolate snack that you can’t find anywhere else. It contains Echizen soba, Echizen pottery, and Echizen washi; the flavour, the container, and the packaging all come together to emphasize the essence of Fukui,” explained Inoue.

The product will be on sale for a limited time until March 2020. There are plans to have the product available during the same period every year.

A box of three small bags of the snack and a sake cup will be ¥2,300 (excluding tax). It is being sold in the cooperative’s direct sales shop Echizen-yaki no Kan (越前焼の館, located in Ozowara, Echizen Town), and the Oshouzuan cafe (御清水庵cafe, located in Yokawacho, Echizen City).

Source: https://www.fukuishimbun.co.jp/articles/-/994009

“Dinosaur Santa” Plays Rugby

“Dinosaur Santa” Plays Rugby

At the Fukui Prefectural Dinosaur Museum, Costumed Model Dinosaurs

On November 29th, at the Fukui Prefectural Dinosaur Museum, a full-size model of the Fukuisaurus appears on exhibit, dressed as Santa Claus. As an homage to the exciting 2019 Rugby World Cup, which was hosted in Japan, the Fukuisaurus is holding what appears to be a rugby ball, and ready to make a pass. Although a bit early, it has been dressed up for a Christmas feel.

This has been a yearly project since 2012. The full length of the Fukuisaurus is 4.7 meters, and at 2.3 meters in height. Donning a red hat and cape, as well as a white beard, it has transformed into a “Dinosaur Santa”. During the excitement of the Rugby World Cup, the museum created its own rugby team called “Dinosaurs”. The museum featured a scene where a player is making an “offload pass” while being tackled.

On the 29th, 13 kindergarteners, invited from the local Minami Kodomo-En, attended the unveiling of the model dinosaur and the decorated Christmas tree. When everything was lit up, the children exclaimed things like “Cool!” and “It’s so pretty!” in delight. There was also a dance and music performance. The exhibit will be until December 24. During this period, the museum shop and restaurant will feature items and menus with a Christmas theme.

Source: https://www.fukuishimbun.co.jp/articles/-/983550