NIHONMONODiscovering Japan [Nihon] through authentic craftsmanship [Honmono]

Having more confidence in Japanese food ”Ecofarm Asano”

Having more confidence in Japanese food
”Ecofarm Asano”

Taste of vegetables exclusive to the land

With deeply tanned skin that shows he is out in the fields every day, Etsuo Asano has the typical appearance of a ”farmer”.
A variety of vegetables are made at Ecofarm Asano, but they are most famous for Italian vegetables.
”It was during the second Italian boom, so I started about 20 years ago.”

Asano had already started making Italian vegetables 20 years ago, but the turning point was ”Tarutibo”.
Tarutibo is a common ingredient often used to accompany grilled meat.
Asano told us that he was told by Italian farmers that ”There is no way you can make Tarutibo in Japan.”
”I tried many times. I went to Italy, and I visited the farmer who said that. But it stands to reason that it cannot be made in Japan. The soil is different, the water is different. So I thought, I should make a Japanese Tarutibo that tastes just as good.”

”But even in Italy, depending on the region, the food tastes different, right? I’m sure you know that.”
”Yes. It can be completely different.”
”Everyone thinks that theirs is the best tasting, right?”
”Yes that’s true. They might not be on good terms with each other.”
”That might be a good thing in a certain way. Japan should be like that too. I think we should emphasize that ’I have a very good thing here!’, much more than we do.”
”I agree. The meals in Milano, Naples and Rome all taste different. Japan doesn’t have as much of that regional distinction.”
Such remarks can be made, only if you have confidence in what you’re making.

Basil bud, the scent is stronger than the leaves

After our discussion, we went to the fields and he showed us the vegetables.
Asano picked a basil bud.
”This has a stronger scent than the leaves.” He handed us the buds and we smelled them.
”It’s true. That’s amazing. It might be good to put this in a risotto.”
”That’s interesting. Since there are no leaves in the dish, they might wonder ’why does it smell like basil?’.”

Asano’s vegetables are said to have strong aroma and taste.
However, Asano does not do anything special. He doesn’t use extra fertilizer or water.
He believes that if the vegetables don’t turn out good that way, it probably wasn’t good to begin with.
His vegetables turn out strong and delicious because he believes in the power of his vegetables.

ACCESS

Chef’s Garden Farm Eco-farm Asano Etsuo Asano
1595-1 Shimoku, Yachimata, Chiba