The joy of attending Food Japan (previously known as Oishii Japan) every year is to find products that have yet to be launched in the market, and talk to the simple and gentle folks who travelled all the way to our tiny island to talk about their food, their farms, and their beautiful land. This year is no different. Instead of focusing on just the food, like I do every year, I thought I will focus my article this year on the non-food at this annual event.
1. Happy farmers
Iida Makoto is a tomato farmer from Aichi, Japan. At Food Japan this year, he had brought along juice and fruit vinegar pressed from the produce of his farms. I enjoyed his jovial introduction of his farm (together with photos of him taken among the tomato bushes) at the Ippin booth B13 at Food Japan. Support small and medium enterprise! Support farms!
2. Sakura Bonsai
Ever dreamed of watching sakura flowers like they do in anime, but never had the time (or money) to travel to Japan? You can get a mini sakura tree now from booth H06 (just on the left of the entrance) at Food Japan now! According to the people I talked to, the sakura will live for 2 years and you won’t need to put them out in the sun. Just keeping them in the room will do. You even get to choose which species of sakura you want!
If you didn’t manage to make it for the event this year, you can check out their website at http://kyoto-omuro.com. They take orders online!
3. Ramen School
So I was reading the latest chapter of Shokugeki no Soma the other day, and thought how great it will be to attend a culinary school like Totsuki. Now you can do that! Tokyo Ramen Academy (Booth F27) conducts 15 days course once a month, to train students in the basics of ramen making, and even to create their original bowl of ramen to be used as signature dish. According to the school, you just need to bring with you your good spirits and passion to learn, and they will do the rest.
Check out the details at their website: http://www.syoku-doujyou.com
4. Edible Film and Pen
Have children in the house who like to cook but you don’t let them? (Wise choice, really. I can’t imagine the mess.) Now you can have the best of both worlds. With an easy to use marker pen (with edible ink) and film, your child can now draw on any food items! Hardboiled eggs! Sliced cheese! Bread! Macaroons!!
I know my niece will love it. You can check them out on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/oblarman
5. Handsome Company President with a heart for women and children
President Suzuki Kazuya prides himself with creating healthy food that are meant for women and children. His company, Strong Heart’s (G19), freeze dried apple chips are packed fashionably in a light blue bag, perfect to fit into any handbag and contains the same amount of nutritions as a whole apple. (Not to mention, a young, handsome and unassuming company president that’s built like a house is always pleasant to talk to.) His products will be launched at Takashimaya next week!
Photos by Ken Koh
By Tessie Tan
© POPCulture Online 2016