Delicious "Shirataki potatoes" created by a harsh environment
Shirataki is a production center for delicious potatoes, and the potatoes produced are called "Shirataki potatoes". Currently, there are only about eight farmers who produce "Shirataki potatoes", and it is a valuable potato that is hard to distribute in the general market. Potatoes are not well known, but in the local Engaru town, potatoes are limited to "Shirataki potatoes"! There are many strong fans, and we receive orders from all over the country for mail-order sales at Ezura Farm.
Shirataki has a long winter and there are many stones in the field, so it is a very harsh environment for potato cultivation. However, it is also the reason why the environment produces delicious potatoes. We, the farmers, continue to make efforts every day so that everyone can enjoy "Shirataki Jaga".
The secret of deliciousness
The reason why "Shirataki Jaga" is so sweet. It is said to be "elevation" and "stoney fields". Both are harsh environments for farming ...!?
Ezura Farm produces and sells various types of potatoes, from the standard "Danshaku" and "Kita Akari" to the rare "Shadow Queen".
Shirataki is 450 meters above sea level !! ... This is the same as a little "mountain". The temperature difference between day and night created by this high altitude is such that there are days when you have to wear a T-shirt during the day and a hoodie at night. In such an environment, potatoes actively photosynthesize during hot days to produce starch on the leaves, and on cold nights the starch is stored in the potatoes. Its high starch value creates delicious potatoes.
"Field with many stones"
At Shirataki, large stones come out of the fields every year. Before planting potatoes, we collect stones from the fields for days. In addition, there are many mechanical failures due to stones, and Shirataki is said to be a "field cropping limit", so it is a harsh environment for crops. However, it has long been said in Hokkaido that "potatoes are good in fields with many stones!" The abundance of stones improves the drainage of the fields and produces moderately moist, fluffy potatoes.
Ezura Farm is currently producing 6 types of potatoes, and we plan to increase the number of potato varieties in the future.
Baron ... A familiar variety.
Akari Kita ... Sweet and fluffy.
Inca Awakening ... Chestnut-like flavor.
Andes red ... Strong taste and sweetness.
Shadow Queen ... Bright purple!
Toyoshiro : White in color, for processing.
A sacred place for potato cooking !?
In order to spread the deliciousness of "Shirataki potatoes", we women who are farmers are engaged in various activities such as holding a potato cooking contest "Jaga Rinpic".
Ezura Farm also sells "overwintering potatoes," which are potatoes harvested in the fall and laid down in Muro for one winter. The sweetness of potatoes that have passed the winter is greatly improved.
During the winter when stored in Muro, potatoes protect themselves by converting their starch into "sugars" to prevent them from freezing. The result is a much sweeter "overwintering potato". In particular, the sweetness of "Inca Awakening" is special, and some people mistakenly think it is "sweet potato !?". In spring, "new potatoes" from Kyushu are attracting attention, but in fact, "overwintering potatoes" from Hokkaido are very delicious.
We are trying to store the overwintering potatoes in "Kamakura" made of snow and keep their deliciousness until summer. By covering the kamakura with straw, you can leave snow even in August. Although it is still in the experimental stage, we are continuing research so that it can be sold in earnest.
We, the Shirataki Potato Production Subcommittee Processing Group, are a group of eight female Shirataki potato farmers. Shirataki Village became Engaru Town due to the merger of towns and villages in 2005. Shirataki will disappear as it is ... Women who think so are continuing various activities to keep the name of Shirataki through "Shirataki Jaga".
A potato cooking contest that has been held in Shirataki once a year since 2005. We celebrated the 10th anniversary in 2015. People of all ages and genders participated and awarded gold, silver and bronze medals to the winners. The winning recipe is made into a recipe card and sent to the customer together with the potatoes.
Published the recipe book "Potato Cooking of Potato Rinpic"
In 2012, we published a recipe book that summarizes past Jaga Rinpic prize-winning recipes. We handle the design and editing by ourselves, and ask a local company to print. It became a hot topic as a "recipe book made by farmers" and was handled by large bookstores and featured in the media such as TV. As a self-funded publication, we sell more than 6000 books of great struggle. (You can purchase from the shopping cart.)
Potato cooking class
At the request of the local board of education, I was invited as a lecturer in a potato cooking class, and first of all, I told Shirataki the charm of potato cooking.