The salty Yokan (azuki-bean jelly) from Shintsuru Honten (Shimosuwa Town, Nagano prefecture, near the Lake Suwa) proves that the salt rules all whenever it is.
In the place like the Shinshu district (Nagano prefecture) having no ocean, the salt was absolutely precious in the wartime (around 16th century). The military commander of Samurai clan even banned the trade of the salt as one means of the starvation tactics. This happened actually when Imagawa family (on the ocean side) was on the touch-and-go status with Takeda family (on the mountain side) in 16th century.
Near the entrance to the Shimosuwa Taisha (shrine), you will find the confectioner, “Shintsuru Honten” (the head office of Shintsuru confectioner) having a long history. It was founded in 1873 (the Meiji period). Since then, the signature confectionery, “salty Yokan” has been a sought-after among the visitor for the Shimosuwa Taisha.
The hand-made manufacturing method to burn the firewood of the Japanese oak is still maintained to knead selected azuki bean of Tokachi (Hokkaido) and agar from Chino city (next to Shimosuwa-town) carefully.
The idea to add the salt to sweet Yokan was invented by the founder of the confectioner.
The Lake Suwa area is in the middle of the Shinshu district where there is no access to the ocean.
So the salt has been a treasure, especially as seasoning to enhance the taste of ingredients for a long time in the Shinshu area.
The ingenious idea of the founder made it possible to complete one and only salty Yokan. You can enjoy the exquisite balance of sweetness and salty taste along with the taste peculiar to agar from Chino city.
Remind you that this Yokan is only available at the Shintsuru Honten.
In this net shopping era, there is still some commodity that you can get it only from the local store. But it is worth it!
Mr. Blue Sky