TOKYO: The Niigata Industrial Creation Organization (NICO) will organise a Niigata Fair at Japan Centre in Leicester Square and Japan Centre Ichiba in Westfield London as well as online from 26 February until 11 March 2022, to promote the food from Niigata Prefecture, an area in Japan blessed with snow.
Niigata is one of the world’s snowiest places and has several meters of snow every year. Yasunari Kawabata, a well-known writer and Nobel laureate wrote a novel called “Snow Country” set in Niigata. Nurtured by the snowmelt and rich natural environment, Niigata Prefecture produces a variety of foods such as rice, Japanese sake wine, fruit, and fermented foods.
Since 2018, the NICO has organised this fair at Japan Centre, London, which is one of the largest Japanese food halls in Europe, to promote the foods of Niigata and to present them to customers in Europe.
This year’s Niigata Fair will feature 26 kinds of products from Niigata such as rice, sake, seasoning, soba noodles, and Japanese confectionery.
Unique products of the Snow Country include sake, soy sauce, and coffee matured in Snow Cellars (which store snow collected during the winter months, making the snow available throughout the year) as well as a fermented chili pepper paste called Kanzuri, which has a subtly spicy flavour due to the chili peppers being spread on the snow and left for several days.
The Niigata Fair allows customers to purchase products from Niigata Prefecture and enjoy them at home, while experiencing a visit to Niigata Prefecture through the food.
“The COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect international travel,” said a NICO personnel who planned this event.
“We hope that the customers who visit our Niigata Fair will enjoy their meals with tasty food and drink from Niigata Prefecture. Kanzuri paste, for example, can be used as a sauce for meat dishes and fish & chips, or can be mixed with tuna for jacket potatoes. It can be used alone while it also goes well with cheese, butter, or other seasonings. Product reviews from customers will help us consider marketing these products in the UK and other European countries.”