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About Iburigakko

What is Iburigakko?
Iburigakko is the name specific to pickled radish in Ogachi, produced by smoking over an open hearth.
This pickling style is said to have originated in the Muromachi Era(ca.14c to 16c). Ogachi has short days and early snowfall, thus, it is impossible to fully dry radish for pickling under the sun in autumn, as is common elsewhere.

Therefore, in old days, Ogachi people hung radish inside their homes over the hearth.
The heat and smoke from the fire created a good flavor.

Also, because of the cold, the pickles lasted longer and tasted sweet.

The pickle reserves were not only indispensible for peopleユs health during the long winter, but were much enjoyed with company over tea or sake.

Although pickling methods varied from family to family and generation to generation, most families dried radish over the sunken hearth untilハaround 1955, when wood stoves became popular.
 1960 Ogachi  Photo by Masao Kagaya


Disappearance of the sunken fireplace


Around 1955, wood stoves became more popular, and sunken fireplaces became less common. Unknown to people at the time, the change from sunken hearths to wood stoves greatly affected the taste of pickled radish. Radishes dried over a wood stove did not taste as good. So along with the sunken hearth, Iburigakko began disappearing too.

Moreover, peopleユs diets began to change. As trends for more exotic foods began spreading from cities, there was less interest in simple rural food, like Iburigakko.

Thus, people gradually stopped making Iburigakko. It almost faded completely.
              


Drying radish with kindlings

Around 1965, local people began longing for Iburigakko.

So the first owner of Ogachino Kimuraya wanted to bring it back.

Soon he discovered that drying radish over an open fire doesnユt open the vegetableユs pores.
This drastically changes the taste.
So he built a smoking house to dry radish with carefully selected wood, in order to produce genuine Iburigakko.

As for pickling, he was also concerned with using the traditional method with rice bran and salt. He avidly pursued the simple but deep taste like the original homemade product.
 

 
 


 
 Registered trademark "Iburigakko" No. 1588021



Selling Iburigakko

After many trials and errors, at last he refined his product, and named the pickles "Iburigakko". Iburi means "smoked" and gakko is the word for "pickles" in the Akita dialect.

He began selling Iburigakko and it became very popular, especially in cities where people originally from Ogachi missed its taste.

Since then, through the past half-century, many people have enjoyed Iburigakko. Today it is well known Akita product, and is Ogachino Kimuraya's featured food.


The flavor of mountain and field

It smells sweet coming from broadleaved trees such as oak, cherry tree, zelkova tree.
The flavor reminds you of old and good days
when we had a fireplace at home.

Its simple and natural taste is exactly what the culture of Akita is, born from our everyday life, succeeded to for hundreds years. I hope you can feel the sentiments of mountains and fields by eating it.






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