Tsuruoka, land of dozens of vegetables and fruits species endemic to the region only, holds in its heart the will to protect the seeds and the culture methods of each variety, in order to maintain authentic tastes and to keep the traditions intact through centuries.
CULINARY CUSTOMS FORGED BY FAITH
Dewa Sanzan has largely influenced Tsuruoka's cuisine with its shojin ryori, the vegan Buddhist food. Vegetables grew to hold a very important place in Tsuruoka's cuisine, which follows Gautama Buddha's principles of non violence through food and that encouraged a plant-based diet.
ENVIRONMENT FRIENDLY CULTURE METHODS
Though mechanic agriculture exists in Tsuruoka, one can witness by strolling around the fields that farmers still employ manual means to cultivate their lands or prepare their food.
It is not rare to spot grandmas drying their mountain vegetables on the ground, one by one, or Japanese gooses graciously weeding the rice fields.
Knowledge sharing did not only permit new generations to inherit from their grandparent's know-how and to perpetuate culture traditions that are centuries years old, it also allows the world to benefit from Tsuruoka's chefs' savoir-faire, and students from around the world to learn preparation techniques and recipes.
Follow a sushi-making class, have a crane-shaped fugu sashimi plate prepared in front of you by a licensed chef in the biggest jellyfish aquarium in the world, or discover how to cook Tsuruoka's mountain vegetables in a farmer family...