Tokyo [Japan], July 4 (ANI): Soba and Udon are traditional Japanese noodle dishes that are very popular in Japan, but their great flavour isn't complete without some "Shichimi" on top of it.
It is the Japanese multi-use chilli mix seasoning that makes food more delicious by enhancing the flavour. It can be also used with pickled vegetables, miso soup, grilled meat and fish.
Shichimi means "seven spices and although the main component is hot pepper, it includes other ingredients that give an aromatic flavor and a beautiful smell in addition to the spicy taste.
The story of Shichimi started almost 400 years ago in this shop in Tokyo where Shichimi spices mixture were invented by a Japanese merchant in the year 1625 to be used as a medicine that stimulates blood circulation to recover quickly from an illness.
But within few years of its production, it turned into a spice that is added to food.
It is now produced by many companies. And the original shop still keeps old tools that were used when Shichimi vendors moved between city and town to grind and sell their mixture.
"In that period, four hundred years ago, our founder invented Shichimi mixture and gifted it to Shogun Tokugawa Iemitsu. He was so impressed and gave special award to Shichimi and it became very famous. Our original shichimi mixture contains aromatic black sesame seed, mandarin orange peel, premium-grade fresh and roasted capsicum (red pepper), powdered Japanese sansho pepper, poppy seed, and hemp seed," said Akira Kashiwaya, Yagenbori Shichimi Shop.
Customers can buy the mixture in the same traditional package, and also choose between three levels of chili strength in it.
"This original mixture is special and it has an aromatic taste and the nice smell of sansho pepper," said a customer.
In 2013, UNESCO included traditional Japanese cuisine, or Washoku, on the List of Intangible Cultural Heritage.
And with the spread of Japanese food around the world, the demand for Japanese Shichimi spices, which is indispensable for obtaining the original Japanese flavour, has become very popular as well. (ANI)