These sweet croquettes are handmade from delicious lily bulb.
Everyone at Makkari Manma, the Board of Agricultural Products Research Center in Makkari Village, is involved in making the delicious Sweet Lily Croquettes. I visited the production center to speak with Chairman Taka Itashiki.
Lily roots are a Makkari village specialty. They are primarily shipped to the Kansai region where they are a luxury food. This produce is extremely delicate and easy to damage, so from start to finish it is grown and cultivated by hand. I found out that it takes about six years to grow a crop large enough for shipment.
Non-standard product is used in the creation of these unique croquettes. "We wanted to find a way to make use of the lily roots that had taken so much time and effort to grow." say the mothers of the village, who have spent a lot of time researching different ways to cook meals featuring the lily bulbs.
▲ This lily bulb will soon be a croquette!
The "Sweet Lily Croquette" was created through a process of trial and error. In 2007 the delicious treat won at the "Shiribeshi Farmer Women Croquette Exhibition Forum." Winning was a great opportunity and helped commercialize the product. Currently seven or eight members participate in the creation of the treat.
▲ From the left: Farmer mother Ms. Mizuki Hisasue, Makkari Chairman Ms. Taka Itashiki, and Ms. Chiho Itashiki.
100% lily bulb is used to make the croquettes. Into the center of each bulb is inserted a bit of lily paste. The paste is made by boiling the center of the lily with sugar and water. The whole thing is deliciously sweet.
▲ After being washed and peeled, the core is cut out with a spoon.
▲ The lily root is then pureed into a paste, seasoned with salt to bring out the sweetness, and the lily paste (the paste is made by boiling the center of the lily with sugar and water) is put into the center.
▲ The ball is then rolled in seeds to give it a nice outer layer.
I was able to enjoy one just after it was cooked. It had a slightly sticky texture, was very sweet, and the lily paste was a great accent! Adding a little salt for seasoning tastes great as well!
"I'd love for those who enjoy this croquette to buy some lily root to take home and try making it themselves. We're planning on making many more handmade foods for customers to enjoy." says Ms. Itashiki.
▲ The pure white color of the lily bulb remains on the inside of the treat.
▲ "Sweet Yurine Croquette" One pack of six frozen balls is 1,260 Yen. You can find in the village at the Roadside Station and shipping is available locally.
If you're ever in the area be sure to give this delicious item a try! It's packed full of local flavor.
● Makkari Manma Sweet Yurine Croquettes
【Where to Find】
・Roadside Station (Makkari Flower Center)
TEL : 0136-48-2007
※ The Roadside Station does local deliveries.
2-20 Minami 18-jyo Nishi 16-chome, Chuo-ku, Sapporo