“Tochihime” Can Only be Eaten in Tochigi
Tochigi is known as the strawberry capital of Japan. And Tochiotome is a strawberry variety synonymous with Tochigi. That is how famous Tochiotome is. However, since Tochiotome is permitted to be produced anywhere, not all Tochiotome are grown in Tochigi Prefecture.
On the contrary, there is a variety of strawberry that can only be eaten in Tochigi. It is Tochihime produced here at Ojima Farm. Since the berries are very soft and cannot be transported far way, they are mostly grown at tourist farms where visitors pick strawberries themselves. According to Yoichi Ojima, there may be less than 20 farms which produce Tochihime in Tochigi Prefecture.
How to Choose a Delicious Strawberry
The characteristics of Tochihime are that they are strong in sweetness and less sour. There is a distinctive difference in taste compared to Tochiotome which is well-balanced in sweetness on sourness. Tochihime has a different tastiness from Tochiotome. Some repeatedly visit Ojima Farm in search for that taste.
Nakata asked how a delicious strawberry can picked out. “The further apart the seeds are, better the taste.” Said Ojima. Not a matter too many consumers would notice. Additionally, “It’s my impression” Ojima informed, “They shouldn’t be too red.” He says that if a strawberry is red all the way to the stem, it may not have good texture and lack in natural good flavor. That too is beyond the amateur mind.
Staying Close to Customer
“What do you value the most as a strawberry farmer?”, asked Nakata. We expected answers such as shape or taste of strawberries. However, the answer was “To satisfy our customers.” “It’s difficult because everyone feels differently about taste. So, it’s hard to make something that is the best. We produce Tochiotome as well, so I see many points.” Said Ojima and offered a Tochiotome. “This is also good, right? Some like Tochiotome, some prefer Tochihime. I’m thinking every day. So, it’s really good to manage a tourist farm. I get response from the visitors who eat the strawberries. I also get feedback at Tochiotome direct sales place. Those are real good references for me.
Some farmers may pursue what they think tastes the best. Ojima ultimately thinks about those who eat the strawberries. For example, “sake” come in many types flavor from sweet to dry. So do strawberries. And it is difficult to determine what is best when it comes to personal preference. That is why Ojima stays close to “those who eat the strawberries”.
- Ojima Farm
- 240, Abeshina, Moka-shi, Tochigi
- URL http://www.rubyonthefield.com/