The Ehime prefecture is usually known for Matsuyama City, the biggest city of Shikoku region, the Mikan (Japanese mandarin orange) and Pom juice (mikan juice). However there are also various other local gourmet items in Ehime that make it really special. Here we look at three such Ehime specialty food that are worth trying whenever you visit Ehime.
1: Bright green canned cream soda drink that has been in market for 50 years!
Shikoku Nyugyou Corporation
Home Up Cream Soda
During the mid-1980s, carbonated drinks such as Cheerio and Skal were the rage in the market. These canned drinks were sold nationwide and were the favourite refreshment among younger people all around Japan then. For a reminiscent of the old times, we recommend the Home Up Cream Soda. This carbonated drink has a taste similar to Skal and was released in 1964, i.e. four years prior to the release of Skal.
“Rakuren” is a famous dairy product series to the locals in Kansai / Shikoku region. Unfortunately the products are not sold in the whole of Japan, therefore a lot of people are not familiar with them. This cream soda flavored carbonated drink was epochal at that time and it was one of the featured beverages on the coffeeshop menus. This soft drink seems to have become popular in order to drink easily. The stimulation of moderate melon-flavored carbonic acid is the same as the cream soda of the coffeeshop.
The green can may make you believe that the soft drink is going to be green in color as well. So don’t be surprise when the drink appears as otherwise (refer to image). Here is one of the drinks that make you nostalgic as we are reminded of our childhood memories. So if you are visiting a friend or relative in Ehime, this drink is a perfect gift to bring along. A 250ml bottle of Home Up Cream Soda costs only 125 yen ($ 1.14).
2: An efficient Ehime all-purpose ingredient for different recipes!
Matsuyamaage Fried Tofu Skin
Matsuyama region in Ehime has been popular for food produce of fried tofu since the beginning of the Meiji period. The tofu has been the staple food in the region for a really long time. Food that was made from fried thinly sliced tofu was regular used in cooking meals. The idea to launch a Matsuyama specialty product came up during the mid-Showa period, eventually “Matsuyamaage” becomes one of the gourmet local food items of Ehime.
This fried tofu skin is perfect to be used in miso soup even if you are new to cooking as it is already sliced into 3cm size pieces. In addition, it can be stored at ambient temperature and does not require any preparation before using.
This tofu product is fluffy, easy to crush with your fingertips hence convenient to consume. It soaks up different flavours and can be added to miso soup as the subtle taste of tofu complement other ingredients. One bag of Matsuyamaage fried tofu costs 165 yen ($ 1.50).
3: Great taste and colour with very subtle acidic flavour!
Shimanami Citrus Story – Hassaku Orange in Syrup
Ehime is also famous for its citrus fruit and has one of the largest production volumes of citrus fruits including mandarin oranges in Japan. The area around Shimanami Kaido overlooks the Seto Inland Sea, is one of the nation’s leading citrus fruit producers in this region due to the favourable temperature and calm climate. This is why many food items in Ehime are associated with citrus fruits.
This Canned Hassaku Orange has a cute and classy design. Hassaku Orange may be quite chewy and the taste is a little bitter so preferences are fairly well divided among consumers. The pickled mandarin oranges were infused in syrup and the natural sourness is moderate with a fairly mellow flavour.
The size of the can is just right and costs 486 yen ($ 4.42). It is delicious and you can easily finish one can in a short time.