June 20, 16 | Yuki Konishi
Ishiguro Shouten’s Amanatto makes taste of individual beans shine
I was so surprised when I ate “Hakodate Amanatto Ishiguro Shouten” first time! Because what I had in my mind about Amanatto is that every bean is too sweet. Each bean from Amanatto from Ishiguro Shouten has its individual taste like Kintokimame has Kintokimame’s taste, Shirohanamame (white lupine bean) has Shirohanamame’s taste, and soybeans have soy bean’s taste. And the texture is very moist. It was my first time meeting Amanatto which makes the taste of individual beans shine.
The taste of beans pursued by a beans dealer▲Mr. and Mrs. Ishiguro
Ishiguro Shouten started as a cereal dealer in 1948 by the manager of the last generation. They sold beans to confectioners in Hakodate and also made Anko pastes.
During the high economic growth in Japan, many retail stores and specialty stores gradually became closed, and one of the client stores decided to close the store, too. That was the only confectioner in Hakodate, which sold Amanatto.
“At first, my father forced me to learn techniques to make Amanatto from that confectioner.” Kochi Ishiguro told us as he looked back.
▲Not only the taste but each beans color, shape, and texture stand out so much in Ishiguro’s Amanatto.
However, the training was only “ten days or two weeks to learn the necessary procedure”. After that, he had to learn by himself. The Amanatto from that confectioner was the usual too sweet Amanatto. As a person who grew up with beans and who had excellent eyes for beans, he could not consent to the kind of Amanatto which makes people feel “everything is the same.” Finally, he gave up on the job as a dealer and decided to focus on Amanatto only. It was 25 years ago.
Kintoki, Azuki, Toramame and Shirohanamame. Every kind of beans has its unique natural taste. Ishiguro works without troubling himself every day. He repeats the careful procedure of one by one step; soak beans in water, cook beans, then steam. The taste of syrup and duration to soak beans into water are different each day; Ishiguro decides according to the day’s taste of beans. He has a conversation with beans every day and makes Amanatto by using his experience and senses with the very careful procedure like an artisan.
Amanatto sold by weight so that people can finish eating while its freshIshiguro Shoten sells Amanatto by weight from 100 grams and 50 increments. They value the sweetness to enjoy beans’ taste more than preservation.
▲The traditional scale.
They sell ten kinds of Amanatto, but most of the kind use beans produced in Hokkaido. The recommended product is “Irodori” which mixed five kinds of Amanatto such as Kintoki and Shirohanamame, and “Tamafuku”, the rare kind of soy beans Amanatto. Tamafuku uses the big kind of soy beans called “Tamafukura”, and it is selected as one of the “Kita no High Grade Shokuhin” (Hokkaido’s High-Grade Food Certification) by food specialists.
▲Irodori is 100g 267yen, Tamafuku is 100g 329yen.
This Amanatto with lots of delicate work makes each bean shine, the texture moist, subtle sweetness, and unstoppable to eat. They also sell the beans online for other parts of Japan so how about enjoying a relaxing moment with Ishiguro Shouten’s Amanatto?
Text / Hokkaido Likers Writer Yuki Konishi
Photo / Hokkaido Likers Photographer Minako Takada