Ode to chocolate
and congrats to those who make
the chocolat grade!!
So a Kyoto chocolatier, Susumu Koyama, has won a prestigious prize in Paris for his chocolate (chocolat in French)-making skills. Yah to that!! Though I`m not sure I`m familiar with or that keen on his ingredients (sake lees and butterbur sprouts) I`d still try them!! I like different ingredients mixed in with my chocolate though one time I bought a pack of kit-kats in Japan and they had a very unusual taste that I just could not fathom, nor like. Reading the wrapping didn`t help me. I just thought it tasted like really poorly made dark chocolate and it put me off kitkats for a while (and I love kitkats). So maybe this guy`s chocolate wouldn`t be for me, who knows. Still, nothing like chilling out with your favourite chocolate in front of a movie by the fire. I definitely recommend it (his name by the way, Susumu, depending on the kanji used, means `to progress` while it also sounds like susumeru which means `recommend` or `promote` – that must be good in his business!!). In this cold wintry weather though, another foodstuff comes in handy. Soup!! I love soups of all kinds though at the moment a hearty vegetable soup is the thing for me. That brings me to the subject of an 80 plus year old cookery `expert` – though she hates that word – in Japan who has made soups her main thing and insists that soup is the best food of all for many reasons. Yoshiko Tatsumi is her name so I suggest looking her up. I liked the interview with her as she is not afraid to call it how she sees it (and in terms of the people running the country and the attitudes today`s Japanese people have towards making their own food, she doesn`t see things as being very good)
While browsing the same online newspaper, I came across a travel section article on Lake Shikotsu in Hokkaido. I never made it there the time I was in Hokkaido but hopefully I will next time. It`s absolutely beautiful by the sounds of it and for those who like hiking up mountains, it`s great for that as there are a few mountains surrounding it. Not as big as those in the Japanese alps (which is fine by me!!) but demanding enough I would say, especially with the snowy conditions up there, to merit a nice bowl of warm soup afterwards.
Here`s a pic of Lake Shikotsu (sometimes spelled Sikotsu) which I found on google maps (courtesy of Panaramio):