Saturday, August 17, 2013

Favorite Foodie Television: Wafu Sohonke (和風総本家)

The next favorite foodie television I wanted to share is Wafu Sohonke (Official Site & Wiki Page). The program describes itself as providing "Wa" Entertainment but it's basically in your Japanese Variety Show category (which is quite wide including music television, quiz and comedy).

As with the Himitsu no Kenmin Show, the theme of highlighting Japanese cultural trivia is its main focus but the vector a complete polar which is Wa-fu traditional. It's all those things that you ought to know, or thought you did know... (Assuming the viewer is Japanese anyway.) Say, the proper name of that decorative doohickey on a matsuri omikoshi, to a 101 refresher course on Japanese manners and etiquettes. (When is the correct timing to give your omiyage hikimono gift when visiting a person's home?) I remember one episode that was dedicated to all formalities at a Japanese wedding.

My main interests are naturally in the food related segments but there are also plenty of "shokunin" or craftsmen type of information that I'm a big fan of. Your traditional Japanese How It's Made bit.

The program typically starts with Shiba Inu puppy Mamesuke in a weekly introduction skit of a themed meal. Shot with a high speed camera and shown in slow motion, when the show first started it was wagashi sweets, then switched over to seasonal takikomi gohan, then seasonal nabe hot pots, delicious things paired on a bowl of rice (was easily my favorite series), and now currently seasonal Japanese fish. Because of the show's four years or so standing, several generations of Shiba Inu puppies were cast during.

The seasonal fish-of-the-week for this earlier episode was the Yamame. During another, there was a longer section on Summer Natsumatsuri Ennichi. Plenty of festival style snacks were covered but the one I enjoyed most was guessing an indispensable food item during these matsuris while watching a video feed. Can you guess what?

It's Aonori! :) My favorite, and a must on Okonomiyaki, Takoyaki, and of course Yakisoba. The video showed 10-tons of seaweed harvested at Tahara-wan (Tahara Bay) in Aichi prefecture. It is washed, then dehydrated brittle dry, picked of impurities (shown a tiny crab) before it is sent to be finely shredded.
The video segment then continued on to show an Aonori slow motion beauty roll over a festival stall made yakisoba. Yum.

So delicious. But don't forget to check for any stuck on your teef! Haha, that always happens.

Many other food related tools, equipment, festive items and toys seen at these festivals were covered in detail during the remainder of the hour-long program. One was your Aburafuki which is that small round brush/mop used to apply oil to Takoyaki and Okonomiyaki grills.

Last, a couple trivia quizzes for obscure traditional "Wa" objects, done usually before the show goes into commercial breaks. The name of that small entranceway to a traditional Chashitsu Japanese tea ceremony house. Anyone?.. Anyone?..
Answer: nijiriguchi (躙口)
Then the wooden pole that is swung to ring Japanese shrine or temple bells.
Answer: shumoku (撞木)

Well I sure learn something every day week. :)

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