JOURNAL / JAPAN etc.(English)


Japanese Ingredients for the World’s Top Kitchens #09

Winner of the 2019 Japan Cider Award


text by Michiko Watanabe / photographs by Daisuke Nakajima / English text by Susan Rogers Chikuba

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.

Toshihiko Moriyama, the fourth-generation head of a century-old apple farm, decided to make good use of the fruit thinned out in the growing process.

“It’s a lot of work to thin a tree–we actually spend 30 percent of our time picking apples that will never be sold. We had always dreamed of making cider one day, but it didn’t occur to me to use the immature fruit until I went to France and tasted cider made from really tart apples.”

Moriyama didn’t stop at his own fruit. He negotiated with other growers and initiated a system to make use of their thinnings as well. He spent three years working with a technical research center and a yeast specialist to develop processing methods and the optimum recipe. 

“We don’t prime with sugar or use manual carbonation. Our cider is unfiltered, but has a light body and a fine bead,” he says. “It’s great with a meal.”

A branch before and after thinning. On average, only one in ten apples is left to mature. 

“Thinning is essential to the health of the tree and to securing a good crop in the following year,” explains Toshihiko Moriyama.

(photo left) Brewer’s yeast is used in the fermentation process.
(photo right) The Ayaka label has a soft pink blush and a fine foam. Draft barrels are marketed wholesale.

Even leftover dregs are busy fermenting.

Apple soda and non-filtered juice round out the Moriyama-en product line. 

Yeast expert Fujiko Aoyama oversees the fermentation process that garnered the 2019 Japan Cider Award.

1-10-4 Midorigaoka, Hirosaki-shi, Aomori

Instagram: @moriyamaenjp

(The Cuisine Magazine /November 2019