Susumu を susumeru

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):


Any thoughts? In haiku form or not?

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