Thursday, November 19, 2009

Kyoto's Nishiki Dori Food Market

edamame (soy beans)
I love going to food markets and nowhere are they better than in Japan. Most department stores have serious food floors, usually in the basement, where luxury goods from all over the world are sold, along with cooked and uncooked fish, vegetables, meats and sweets. Most of the major French bakers and patissiers (such as Dalloyau, Eric Kayser Lenotre, Pierre Hermé, Ladurée) and chocolatiers (Jacques Hévin - I know, it's Belgian) have stands at the better stores. All is very neat and extremely appetizingly presented.

But my big treat is going to the covered market street in Kyoto, Nishiki Dori. Here the products are not international, but Japanese: pickles for which Kyoto is famous), fresh and salted fish, homemade crackers, miso paste, meat, tofu in all its forms, seaweed, fresh fruit and vegetables, cooked yakitori, nuts, etc. Much of it is not identifiable by a non-Japanese person (other than Elizabeth Andoh, an American authority on Japanese food, but she has lived in Japan for more than 40 years).
two approaches to miso pickles
Fortunately, the vendors are used to having their pictures taken, and I have some that give the flavor of the place. To see them, click on more below


Pictured above: chestnut vendor (top), little fish (above left), eel (unagi) and sea eel (anago) (above right), tofu skin (yuba) (bottom left) and still more pickles (bottom right).

Bobby Jay


Anonymous said...

Try the soy based donuts. The stand is about in the middle of the market, it sells tofu, but if you jog around the corner a few feet they sell freshly made tofu donuts from a small window. I am not a donut lover, but these were exquisite!

Bobby Jay said...

These sound incredible. A must for next time!