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Taste of Nature

Mountain grapes – a superfood good for your beauty and health

Mountain grape is a superfood which contains 8 times polyphenol, 3 times iron and 4 times vitamin C more than the normal ones, which have been standing the test of time due to its effects on beauty and health. Shizukuishi, Iwate is a suitable place to grow mountain grapes due to its high altitudes and its location with a plenty amount of sunshine.

There is a restaurant where you can taste creative dishes made with home-grown, organic mountain grapes: “Grape Farmland cafe Nonoka.” Located at the foot of the Ou mountains, the restaurant allows you to enjoy your meals in a peaceful, relaxed manner with a beautiful scenery of grape farmlands.

Soup curry with mountain grapes and kiritanpo created from their love toward hometown

The “soup curry with mountain grapes and summer vegetables” is an original menu invented by the restaurant owners Ms. and Mrs. Yanagidate who remembered the taste of their hometown Akita. The spicy soup curry is well-matched with the chewy kiritanpo and fresh, seasonable vegetables such as eggplants, zucchinis, pumpkins. The mountain grapes bring refreshing flavors, which accentuates its taste. The ingredients are mainly vegetables grown by local farmers and seasonal foods harvested by Mr. Makoto Yanagidate in a mountain such as bamboo shoots, mushrooms, wild vegetables and so on.

One of the hidden popular menus “fuwafuwa omlet taco rice” makes you addicted because of its harmony of juicy meat, a runny eggs and pignant taco rice.

The dessert was “gelatin cheesecake with mountain grapes.” The jelly of tart mountain grape juice and rich gelatin cheese are the perfect combination. The tart “mountain grape juice” made my mouth refreshed after eating.

 

Shift into mountain grape cultivation after working as a salaried worker for 40 years

“Since I was a child, I often went to the mountain to pick mountain grapes,” said Mr. Yanagidate. He was previously worked as a salaried man for 40 years. However, he decided to move to Shizukuishi in order to lead a second life with his wife six years ago and began learning by himself how to grow mountain grapes which was familiar for him since his childhood.

As a result of repeated trial and error over 4 years, Mr. and Mrs. Yanagidate have successfully cultivated seven types of mountain grapes. They opened a cafe two years ago because they wanted other people to eat dishes made with mountain grapes grown with their whole hearts one by one. The restaurant name was taken from one of the types of mountain grapes they were growing.

My impression

The most impressive thing for me was that each of the dish using mountain grapes were incredibaly unique and savoury as if the mountain grapes had a magical power. Watching magnificent mountains and animals outside, I had a meal in a relaxing manner and the peaceful atmosphere made me want to stay long. Both my stomach and heart was fullfilled by the restaurant.

Grape Farmland cafe Nonoka

Address: 〒 020 0585 Shizukuishi-machi, Iwate Pref. Nagayama Horikiryo 8-52
Phone number: 090-2020-5747
URL: https: //no-no-ka.webu.jp/map.html
Business hours: 11: 00-17: 00 (17: 00 last order)
Closed holiday: April – Thursday, November, December – March Thursday and Friday
Access: Approximately 12 to 13 minutes by car from Koiwai Station, Shizukuishi Station

Photography & Interview by Ichita Komori & Remo Sugimoto
Edited by Remo Sugimoto