Absorbing the flavors
Gunma boasts the No. 1 production of ”konnyaku” (konjac) potatoes in Japan. So it’s natural that ”konnyaku” is one of the top products of the prefecture. There is a master of ”konnyaku” production in the city of Shibukawa, Gunma. His name is Motoyoshi Ubukata, the owner of ”Ubukata Farm”.
Ubukata, with a towel wrapped around his head, is a friendly, but skilled professional who was born and raised in the Joshu area. He is the 5th- generation owner of the farm that grows ”konnyaku” potatoes. When he took over the operation, Ubukata started to make ”konnyaku” using the potatoes grown on his farm, and he soon became the master of ”konnyaku”. Ubukata’s ”konnyaku” contains small bubbles so that it absorbs plenty of flavor when cooked. This is the first reason for the many fans for his product. The second reason is the great texture.
Nakata was very much surprised to taste the string type ”konnyaku” which had a texture closely resembling Chinese noodles. Nakata enjoyed the tasting session, as”konnyaku” is one his favorite foods.
3 years to harvest
It takes 3 years to harvest the ”konnyaku” potatoes that are grown in Gunma. Since these potatoes are vulnerable to cold temperatures, they have to be taken out of the field during the winter to be stored in a warehouse. The potatoes are planted again in the spring. Ubukata doesn’t seem to mind this extra work, and seems to actually enjoy it. The high quality ”konnyaku” is a product of the love and care that the master of ”konnyaku” puts into growing the potatoes.
- Ubukata Farm, Motoyoshi Ubukata
- Shibukawa-shi. Gunma