December 07, 12 |
"Kushiro Seaweed Butter" - A butter that brings the taste and aroma of the sea to any meal.
"Kushiro Seaweed Butter" is made with milk and seaweed from Kushiro's heartland. After four years of development the butter had its debut in the spring of 2012.
Kushiro has towns in a wide range of locations, from mountainous regions to coastal areas. This butter is on track to be the next major brand from the region, combining the milk and seafood that represent Kushiro into one delicious item. The man who brought that idea to the table is Mr. Kazuma Funazaki, Owner of "Iomante" Restaurant in Kushiro.
Mr. Funazaki got the idea for the product from a seaweed butter, from Brittany, France, he used in his shop. "Brittany is surrounded by ocean and has both fishing and dairy industries, so it's a lot like Kushiro. I thought that if I could get a hold of local seaweed and milk then I could make a seaweed butter of my own."
▲ Mr. Kazuma Funazaki, owner of Iomante Restaurant and creator of the Seaweed Butter. He's interested in incorporating more Ainu food culture as well as continuing to convey the quality of Hokkaido foods.
The milk used in this product is taken from a ranch in Shiranuka Town, the seaweed is Nagakonbu and Ginnansou seaweed selected from a variety of types brought in at Hamanaka Town. The butter is made at cheese factory Shiranuka Rakukeisha, Mr. Funazaki explains "The kelp we use is sun dried to bring out flavor. So when this butter is melted the characteristic flavor jumps out."
▲ Here is the Nagakonbu and Ginnansou kelp used in the butter. Around 70 percent of the fisherman in the Kushiro area are engaged in fishing for this kelp.
If you take a small bite of the butter it melts in your mouth, releasing its delicious flavors. When I visited the area for this interview I was really surprised at how delicious this butter was! The butter can be used to bring a seafood flavor to any meal, but it matches especially well with shellfish dishes.
▲ It works great to add seasoning for larger meals, but even just spread on bread the taste is fantastic.
▲ "Kushiro Seaweed Butter" (100g - 880 Yen)
This taste represents the hard work of the farmers, fishers, and butter-makers who put their hard work into the product.
This product truly links the people and places of Kushiro together, and I highly suggest you try it.
● Where to find Kushiro Seaweed Butter:
・Iomante Restaurant and Community
・At Moo in Kushiro Fisherman's Wharf (A Nakano Product)
・At Tanchou Kushiro Airport (JALUX BLUE SKY and Kawashima Shop)
・Supermarkets across Kushiro (Dancho Center Ashino, Hoshigaura Shop)
※ Because of low quantity some locations may be sold out.
● レストラン＆コミュニティ イオマンテ (Iomante Restaurant and Community)
2-23 Suehiro-cho, Kushiro
TEL : 0154-65-1802
Hours of Operation: 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm.
※ Lunch available by reservation from 11:30 to 2:00. No reservation needed to enter the cafe.
Closed on Mondays.
Hokkaido LIkers Writer - Chiaki Uzurahashi
Photography by Seiji Makoto