How a unique island culture is taking its own version of “local” a step further
When it comes to food movements, the word “local” is a rarity in Okinawa.
That’s because restaurants in Japan’s southernmost prefecture have been doing the local thing long before it was trending.
Or even just trendy.
World-renowned for promoting health and longevity, traditional Okinawan cuisine uses primarily local ingredients.
What’s more, it’s easy to find.
Restaurants across this multiple-island prefecture dish out fresh, delicious fare ranging from braised pork rafute and custardy shima tofu, to stir-fried champaru and black sugar donuts — recipes based on longstanding traditions dedicated to fresh ingredients.
More: Okinawan cuisine: The Japanese food you don’t know
According to Kaori Yoshida, editor of Japanese-language website Calend-okinawa.com, the last five years have been particularly exciting on the Okinawa food scene.
“We started the website in 2009 not just to share our favorite places to eat, but to encourage people to grow and spread their ideas,” she says.
Since then, Yoshida says, a stream of new shop owners and chefs have arrived and infused passion, creativity and personal interpretations of island living into an already vibrant eating culture.
Meet the bakers: Soichi and Kaoru Morishita. …read more
Read more here: Now eat! Okinawan cuisine gets a makeover