Wisdom of preservation: Preparing for winter

Wisdom of preservation: Preparing for winter

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In the Tohoku region, it was important to prepare food for the long winter. There are many well-conceived methods for eating a variety of food. There are numerous local dishes that use ingredients preserved for winter.


Pickling Chinese cabbage

Places for storage

Under the soil

When winter is approaching, people dig holes in the field, put in vegetables such as Japanese radish, and cover them with straw and soil. The temperature inside the hole never falls below 0°C, thanks to the ground heat.


Pulling out radish from storage holes
(Sources: What I heard of the Meals of Iwate, Rural Culture Association Japan)

Under the eaves

If the overhanging part of the roof is large, the space under the eaves protects the food from rain, and the temperature there remains low. It is a good place to dry vegetables, such as Japanese radish, and rice cake.


Dried rice cake

Over the irori

Since a fire is lit all year in the irori (open fireplace), it is used to dry foods such as small fish.


Dried fish pierced with a bamboo tube, with holes drilled in it