cover

While Japan has a ton of great food for anyone with a hungry stomach, there are also lots of local “soul foods” that are a tricky to find. Often, you’ll have to go to a specific prefecture to find them. Like Fukushima, for example. Recently, the southernmost of Japan’s north-eastern prefectures seems to have gained a bit of attention online from Twitter users showing off their favorite local “soul foods.” The selections aren’t exactly prime cuisine…but they might be far better!

Check out Fukushima’s favorites below! But maybe make sure you have a snack at the ready first, because this guaranteed to make you feel at least a little bit peckish.

1. Cream Box

[tweet https://twitter.com/0610Lady/status/571907854161952768 align=center]

Okay, we have to admit that the name alone sounds amazing with our first selection! Who wouldn’t want a “cream box?” But just, exactly, is this mysterious delicacy?

▼Don’t care. Must put in mouth!

[tweet https://twitter.com/you_see_t/status/555581040463319040 align=center]

Created in 1976, the first cream box was made by a local bakery called Romio and is basically a thick slice of bread covered in cream with condensed milk. You can buy a regular Cream Box for 110 yen (about US$.90) or an Almond Box for 130 yen (about $1.06), and locals say that they’re even better warm.

2. Mugi-senbei 

[tweet https://twitter.com/mukokyu_cb/status/550606885468925952 align=center]

You’ve likely heard of senbei before and have probably eaten it (or at least fed it to deer in Nara), but it turns out that the rice crackers aren’t always made from rice. Especially in Fukushima where mugi-senbei is senbei made from wheat flour.

[tweet https://twitter.com/nao0037/status/514038090919202816 align=center]

The tweet above reads:

“I bought some mugi-senbei at Taiyodo in the department store connected to the station. It’s surprisingly sweet but the peanut taste isn’t out done by the sweetness, and it has a steady deliciousness. It’s a taste you can only find in Fukushima, so it’s a great souvenir!

In the words of innumerable memes, “Do want!” We could really go for a dinner of mugi-senbei right about now! Sadly, we’ll probably have some trouble finding any.

▼”I was so hungry! Speaking of which, a friend gave me some mugi-senbei
from Taiyodo, and I am completely hooked! I looked but it’s not available
anywhere. If you find any, please let me know! ( ´ ▽ ` )ノ

[tweet https://twitter.com/ArimoriMisuzu/status/565154225890414592 align=center]

3. Shimiten 

[tweet https://twitter.com/kupikupikuppy/status/574152448962523136 align=center]

While you may not think of Japan when you think about doughnuts, that’s basically what this pastry from Fukushima is! Thought it’s also so much more.

[tweet https://twitter.com/kuro_burigoki/status/466187478177574912 align=center]

As you can see in the Tweet above, Shimiten is a fried doughnut with frozen shimimochi, which is kusamochi, literally “grass mochi,” that has been soaked in water and set outside to be frozen by the wind. With a crispy, fried doughnut shell and a gooey center, this is a uniquely Fukushima pastry!

4. Radium Eggs

[tweet https://twitter.com/suzuki_riko/status/559660244263911424 align=center]

As you can see in the photo above, this soul food from Fukushima is just regular chicken eggs. What makes these eggs different though is how they’re prepared–they’re boiled in hot springs!

▼And sometimes they’re also eaten with ice cream. Yum!

[tweet https://twitter.com/0407Goofygoof/status/566496541469184001 align=center]

So, why are they called “radium eggs” instead of “onsen eggs?” Well, it turns out that radium eggs are onsen eggs, but they’re boiled in very specific hot springs: Izasaka Onsen in Fukushima City. What makes Izasaka Onsen so special is that it was the first hot springs discovered to contain radium, hence the dish’s name. Radium eggs can also apparently come from Onogawa Onsen in Yamagata Prefecture.

5. Ika-ninjin

[tweet https://twitter.com/0309minami_hana/status/551347961746055168 align=center]

In case you haven’t learned all the Japanese food words out there–and there certainly are a lot of them to remember–“ika” is squid and “ninjin” is carrot. Which is exactly what this dish consists of!

[tweet https://twitter.com/manchi1130/status/549018750112890880 align=center]

Ika-ninjin is made by taking tsurume, dried shredded squid, and thinly sliced carrots and soaking them in soy sauce, sake, mirin, or whatever you’d prefer. This easy-to-make dish is a popular snack food for many in Fukushima, though apparently it’s not common in every part of the prefecture.

▼And it apparently goes great with radium eggs too!

[tweet https://twitter.com/kentanakamori/status/538864170578345985 align=center]

6. Raku’ou Cafe Au Lait

[tweet https://twitter.com/tomitakotonoooo/status/574432384940007425 align=center]

With all this tasty food, you’ll definitely be looking for a drink to wash everything down. And for Fukushima residents, the “soul drink” to go with all their soul food is Raku’ou Cafe Au Lait, a long-running brand that’s been around since 1976!

In fact, the drink is so commonplace in Fukushima that some don’t realize that it’s not available throughout the country.

▼It also goes great with a Cream Box!

[tweet https://twitter.com/asakasaku/status/553914100544045059 align=center]

▼Or a Shimiten!

[tweet https://twitter.com/hahii/status/518587422016172033 align=center]

Now we only have two problems: Deciding what we want to eat first and figuring out when the next shinkansen to Fukushima is…

Sources: ZakZack, Naver Matome
Images: Wikipedia (Lincun)