Weekly Column Kanda This and That 305
Thank you for coming back.
I saw the item at my regular fresh produce place and I was so happy that I couldn’t stop myself from buying it. It was komatsuna leaves from Saitama (100 yen). They weren’t like the ones we commonly see at stores, which are put into a plastic bag tidily with a uniform appearance. The leaves were very dark green and thick, the stems were totally thick, and the roots were covered with mud. Since each plant was big, the bundle contained only three plants!! I could tell they grew in the cold northern wind of the Northern Kanto area. which maximized their sweetness! Winter vegetables increase their sugar content in frozen fields with frost so that they won’t freeze in the cold days before the arrival of spring. When I looked at this komatsuna, I immediately thought it would be great. Then, I split each plant into four strips, cooked them in boiling water, and ate them with soy sauce. They were so delicious! The part close to the root was nice and tender. I just remembered that at my parents’ place in Takasaki (Gunma Pref.), where they did farming, my father used to harvest about 10 plants of winter komatsuna and my mom cooked them in a huge pot. I ate them like a main dish. The sweet komatsuna I ate this time brought me back to the sweet memory of my parents.
*The information herein is as of February 2019.