Carefully Selected Ingredients: The "Asakura-Japanese Pepper"

Carefully Selected Ingredients: The "Asakura-Japanese Pepper"
Hyogo Prefecture's Yabu City, in which the Restaurant la Riviere is located,

is currently the focus of widespread attention. 
Originally gaining popularity throughout Japan since it was selected as a National Strategic Agricultural Zone

(of which there are only two in the whole of Japan, Yabu City and Niigata City) last year,

Yabu City is also getting increased attention from other countries as well. 
Here, we would like to introduce the "Asakura-Japanese  Pepper,"

an ingredient that has gotten the most attention among the many specialty products that Yabu City is so proud of. 

The "Asakura-Japanese Pepper" is a Japanese pepper with an ancient and honorable origin from a place called Asakura in Yabu City.

Its history goes back over 400 years as a noble ingredient and it is an ultra-luxury good

that was gifted to the likes of Toyotomi Hidetoshi and Tokugawa Ieyasu. 

In order to protect this amazing native plant species, a group of researchers,

including those at the "Asakura Pepper Association" and the "Asakura-Japanese Pepper Chapter of JA Tajima,"

were recently successful in developing hardy "Asakura-Japanese Pepper" seedlings,

which are notoriously difficult to cultivate, through incremental quality improvements. 

The characteristics that make the "Asakura-Japanese Pepper" so unique are its refreshingly fruity citrus aroma and taste,

along with a subdued spiciness and beautiful green appearance, making it stand apart from other Japanese peppers! 
The "Asakura-Japanese Pepper" that Restaurant la Riviere currently uses are specialty "Asakura-Japanese Peppers"

that are cultivated organically at the "Onoyama Gardens" in Yabu City's Tamami. 

Harvest is carried out in early June, and to deliver the freshest peppers possible on a daily basis,

the peppers are speedily processed in a kitchen before being flash frozen and stored in vacuum packs to trap in the flavor.

It's a lot of hard work but we can't afford to cut corners! 
For one straight week, the work of processing Japanese peppers continues until midnight. 


Utilizing these peppers – a very Japanese ingredient – a whole slew of ingenious new products is beginning to emerge. 
You won't be able to take your eyes off of Yabu City's specialty "Asakura-Japanese Pepper,"

an ingredient that is set to get even more popular from now.