Japanese Ingredients for the World’s Top Kitchens ＃28
The Bee’s Knees
Though the times are always changing, there are certain timeless ingredients from Japan that will never go out of style. Yukio Hattori, president of Hattori Nutrition College in Tokyo, introduces unique labors of love—items grown and produced with care and integrity by hardworking suppliers across the country.
“My father used to keep bees,” says apiarist Hisayuki Tanaka. “He sold the honey in our liquor shop. As the neighborhood became built up we moved our bee yard to Nakamura Farm, where there are plenty of cherry trees and, recently, blueberry bushes, too.” Tanaka tends the hives year-round, collecting honey from mid-April to late June. In the winter he feeds the bees a blend of sugar water, honey, and roasted soy flour.
“There are three kinds of bees in every colony: the queen, drones, and workers. The drones are male; their main purpose is to impregnate the queen. The worker bees, all female, clean the hive, rear brood, guard the entrance and, for the last ten days of their lives, collect nectar, pollen, and water. It’s said that a single bee will gather only a teaspoon of nectar in its lifetime. Please savor their gift with reverence.”
◎Kokubunji Nakamura Farm
4-24-1 Hiyoshi-cho, Kokubunji, Tokyo
（The Cuisine Magazine /September 2017）