Locals Work to Pass on Anpogaki Recipe in Fukushima

Society Food and Drink Guide to Japan

Date, Fukushima Pref., Jan. 6 (Jiji Press)--The Date region of Fukushima Prefecture, northeastern Japan, is at the peak of shipping for “anpogaki,” a type of dried persimmon whose unique recipe has been handed down by local producers for a century despite hardships posed by the 2011 nuclear accident.

Persimmons hanged on strings to dry, which look like orange-colored curtains from a distance, are a special feature of winter in Fukushima.

“Anpogaki of Date,” a leading hoshigaki, or dried persimmon, marked in 2022 the 100th anniversary of production.

After the nuclear accident at Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc.'s <9501> Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, triggered by the March 2011 powerful earthquake and tsunami, producers were asked to refrain from making anpogaki amid concerns that radioactive materials may get concentrated during the drying process for astringent persimmon.

Looking back on that time, Seiichi Kazumata, 67, head of Japan Agricultural Cooperatives, or JA, Fukushima Mirai for the Date area, said: “Shipments were fully suspended for two years following the accident. I was afraid production areas would be lost.”

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