3.5 OZ (100g) - JAPAN
IBURI-JIO, smoked sea salt, displays a beautiful beige color and its aroma and flavor are distinctively smoky!
The base of this smoked sea salt is premium quality sea salt that is made from traditional and time-intensive production processes - collecting unpolluted, deep sea water from off shore of the Oga Peninsula in Akita Prefecture in northern Japan, and slowly crystallizing the salt in a large pot over a wood burning fire for three days. The resulting sea salt is rich in minerals - magnesium, calcium and potassium - and thus its flavor is complex and round.
IBURI-JIO is a relatively new product as artisan Japanese products go. Its production began in 2002, but there is a good reason why this smoked salt was invented in Akita Prefecture. Akita is a region known for iburi-gakko, smoked and pickled daikon radish. The "Iburi" smoking technique is a traditional method for preserving the local crop of daikon radishes for consumption during the long, cold winters of the region. Traditionally, the locals hung as many daikon radishes as possible from their ceiling above the hearth in each home. After weeks of exposure to the smoke, the wonderfully aromatic daikon is then pickled in a salt and rice bran mixture to complete the preservation process.
The salt is crystalized in a stainless steel pot and smoked over pure cherry wood. There are neither additives nor chemical treatment applied to the salt. The sea salt only acquires its fragrant smoky flavor and aroma from the cherry wood.
IBURI-JIO is perfect as condiment to accompany such traditional Japanese fare as tempura, sashimi, grilled seafood, chicken and meat dishes. You can also add it to soups, braised or simmered dishes both in Japanese and Western preparations requiring salt, or American style barbecue meat preparations to add that unique and slightly smoky flavor.
about the producer
Namahage no Shio Company is run by the Sasaki family including Masaki, the 25 years old son of the current president. The company is located on the Oga Peninsula, which extends out into the Japan Sea from the northern part of Honshu, the main Japanese island.
The Oga Peninsula is famous for the Namahage Festival. Namahage is the name of an ancient Japanese deity resembling a scary demon.
On New Year's Eve, a group of 2 to 3 village youths disguised as namahage (wearing large masks, straw raincoats and waist-bands, holding wooden cooking knives,) go around visiting the village homes at night, dancing around and shouting: "Any children crying? Any lazy daughters-in-law in this house?" They are met by the head of the family and are offered saké and rice cakes. Confirming that the family is a happy one, the namahage bless them with good health, good crops and prosperous business.