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Newsletter: Delivery Of Japan's Seasonal Tradition

Delivered on February 24, 2014
Delivery Of Japan's Seasonal Tradition: February 2014, Issue 14

Delivery Of Japan's Seasonal Tradition [Issue 14]
February 24, 2014
Japanese Traditional Culture Promotion & Development Organization


1. Seasonal Festival:
Ho-tate (Scallop) : Moving on the sea with its sail (ho) set
up (tate) ?

:: 1. Seasonal Taste

Ho-tate (Scallop) : Moving on the sea with its sail (ho) set up
(tate) ?

Thanks to the recent progress in aquaculture technology, we can enjoy
the rich taste of Hotate (scallop) all year round. Now is the best
season of its taste - during winter and spring, before spawning.
Fleshy and juicy scallop meat in this season contains higher protein
than in other seasons.

The name of scallop in Japanese, "Hotate-gai" seems to have been
used since ancient times. Now it is known that scallop swims with
waterpower which is arisen by opening and closing its shells quickly.
However, ancient people in Japan believed scallop sailed like a
yacht, using one of the shells as a boat, and another as a sail.

Japanese people think fan shape as a lucky shape. The shape stretches
toward the end is called "Suehirogari", which symbolizes a bright
future. Because of this lucky shape and the miracle way of swimming
which was misunderstood, scallop is prized as a food of celebration
even now.
The appealing shellfish is also quoted in Japanese idioms and
traditional Noh singings. Sometimes it is called in other names,
such as "Ougi-gai", also means fan shaped shell.

Scallop meat contains high in protein and low in calories. Large
amount of taurine, vitaminB2 and minerals such as iron and zinc help
lower cholesterol and prevent from arteriosclerosis and high blood
pressure. Furthermore, glutamic acid gives rich flavour of the meat,
and it also contains aspartic acid as well as amino acids such as

Major fishing areas of scallop in Japan are Funka bay (Volcanic bay)
in Hokkaido, Sea of Okhotsk and Mutsu bay in Aomori prefecture. There
are many cooking method of scallops in Japan ? sashimi
(raw scallops), saute with butter, stew, soup and so on. Dried
scallop adductor muscle is a really popular snack for alcoholic
drinks. How do you eat scallops in your country?

Translation: Hitomi Kochi, reviewed by Naoko Yamashita

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