These dumplings are a hidden gem found only in this Japanese city

These dumplings are a hidden gem found only in this Japanese city
via Curious Chopsticks
Ryan General
19 days ago
Despite its status as a source of local pride in the Japanese city of Akashi, a survey reveals that the beloved akashiyaki dumplings are a rare treat, consumed by citizens only once or twice a year on average.
Key points:
  • Akashiyaki, also known as “tamagoyaki,” has centuries-old roots and has evolved into a cherished local specialty in Akashi, a city in southern Japan‘s Hyogo Prefecture.
  • Akashiyaki is made with octopus in a batter consisting of wheat flour, egg and fish broth (dashi broth), which is then fried. The small, round dumplings’ light, fluffy texture, higher ratio of egg to flour and savory dashi broth sets it apart from its more popular relative, takoyaki.
  • A recent survey indicates that despite its popularity, a significant portion of locals consume akashiyaki only occasionally, reported The Mainichi.

The details:
  • Akashiyaki dates back to the late Edo period (1603-1868) and is considered the predecessor of the internationally renowned takoyaki. It gained widespread popularity much later, around the beginning of the Taisho era (1912-1926).
  • In 2021, Japan’s Agency for Cultural Affairs officially recognized akashiyaki as a heritage food with over 100 years of history.
  • According to the survey conducted by the Hyogo Prefectural Government’s Akashi Tourism Agency, while 86.4% of respondents feel pride in akashiyaki, only 13.2% indulge in it at least once a month. Over 28% of Akashi residents haven’t eaten akashiyaki in the past year.
  • The research also found varying consumption patterns across different age groups: younger demographics show a preference for lunchtime consumption, while older generations enjoy it better as a snack. Meanwhile, over 75% of residents prefer eating it at specialty shops instead of preparing it at home.
  • Almost 20% of residents, particularly older men, still refer to akashiyaki by its old name, “tamagoyaki” (grilled egg). Meanwhile, 74% cited the savory dashi broth as a major reason for akashiyaki’s appeal.
What’s next: 
  • The Akashi Tourism Agency hopes to use the survey to boost akashiyaki’s reputation outside the city, encouraging “akapa” (akashiyaki dinner parties) as an alternative to “takopa” (takoyaki dinner parties).
 
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