A simple and tasty snack that for generations has been popular for generations, Hotaru Age are so named because their color and shape is reminiscent of the fireflies that appear in summer along the banks of the Hoshino river. They are made from satsuimo (Japanese sweet potatoes), which are crushed into a paste and lightly fried until crispy. Wholesome and sweet, they're sold as a snack and have been a staple of local festivals for hundreds of years. Although highly recommended, they can be a little hard to find: their immense popularity with local kids and adults alike, coupled with the fact that they are only available in Tachibana, means they quickly sell out.
Gamekuru is a traditional dish found around the rural areas of Fukuoka prefecture, Kyushu. It is served exclusively around New Year's and occasionally on special occasions. Burdock root, carrots, onion, shiitake mushrooms, lotus root, new potatoes, konnyaku and bamboo shoots are fried together until soft and tender, then gently boiled in dashi fish stock. It is usually served with white rice, pickled vegetables and other sides dishes.
Bento boxed lunches are a staple of Japanese cuisine, and vary greatly from area to area. These home-packed lunch boxes contain of variety of meat, fish and vegetable dishes; here in Yame, all the ingredients come fresh straight from the fields! Kaachan bento are usually sold at festivals around Yame, and are a great sample of Yame produce and cuisine. As well as several of the dishes mentioned on this page, you may also find other treats such as tea shoot tempura or imo manjuu. It doesn't get much more authentic than this!
Known as dango jiro throughout the rest of Kyushu, dango jiro is a type of dumpling soup made using a special broth made from dried sardines. Its rich and satisfying flavor comes from the smoking process used in making the sardine stock, and the exact method varies from family to family. It usually only prepared on special occasions and local festivals. To make the dumplings, flour and salt are mixed with water and allowed to cool before being shaped by hand and added to the soup. Served with a variety of winter vegetables such as potato, pumpkin, carrot and burdock root, its best eaten outside on chilly winter days for a taste of traditional Japanese home cooking.
Best described as a Japanese style crepe, funayaki are made by combining flour and water and are then lightly fried over an open flame. Pinches of brown sugar are then added as the mixture begins to solidify, or any number of hand chopped vegetables. Like most Japanese cooking, the resulting pancakes light but devilishly moreish. Depending on the ingredients and how its prepared, it can be served either as a side dish or a desert.