Saturday, August 1, 2015

First Okayama Fair at Isetan Scotts : Giant Peaches and More!

Peach Compote and Tangy Peach Salad Dressing
Do you know that Okayama is the largest city in Chugoku prefecture after Hiroshima? Being known as the "Fruit Kingdom", the city takes pride in its plump and juicy white peaches as well as white seedless grapes that are bestowed with the Royal title of "Muscat of Alexandria". 

Bounded on the South by the Seto Inland sea, the place is also famous for its high quality oysters which has been turned into casual yet mouthwatering B-kyu gourmet dishes like oyster okonomyaki and oyster rice.
From now till next Thurs 28th, Isetan Scott's will be holding its inaugural Okayama Fair so that you don't have to fly to Okayama to get a taste of the fresh produce. Here are some of the highlights:  
Milk Soft Serve with Fresh Okayama Peaches ($8) 
It might just look like a slice of peach but there are chunky bits inside the gelato as well. Not the cheapest ice cream around but you know you are paying for quality ingredients
Processed fruit products: Peach Manju (a box of 4 for $15.50) from Sato-Gyokunndo, a traditional Wagashi confectionary house with more than 180 years of history and most widely known for its Yubeshi 柚餅子.

The texture of this "manju" (still more like a pudding to me) falls in between a yokan and a jelly. Yet what surprises me the most is the molten center of peach purée. This can get you on a sugar rush but the sweetness will eventually balance out if you pair it with a good pot of tea. So start brewing your tea before serving this. 

Look out for bottled peaches, grapes and jelly as well. These preserved fruit conserves are undoubtedly sweet but work well as toppings for yoghurt, ice cream or spread on bread.
If you go to Okayama, one of the must-try or must-buy souvenir is the kibi-dango (きびだんご), mini mochi balls with firm chewiness. In fact, Koeido's kibidango has the longest history in Japan as the shop has been around since 1856. Muslim friends will be happy to know that these kibidango have received halal-certification from the Japan Islamic Trust.

Available in three different flavors (original, brown sugar and sea salt) for a box of 10 pcs at $7, these little balls are "kosong" , which means that they do not contain any filling. The ones above are original but I recommend the sea salt for those who seldom take wagashi 和菓子 and prefer something less sweet. 
As mentioned earlier, the peaches from Okayama are possibly the sweetest variety in Japan as their grade level beats even those from Yamanashi Prefecture, all thanks to the mild climate environment.

Now is the best season to taste the Shimizu White Peach (清水白桃). Don't be surprised to see other varieties such as Hakutou or Hakurei from mid-July to late August as well. In fact, you might want to sign up for peach-picking and all-you-can-eat tours in Okayama if you visit during the summer. 
Made with the premium koshihikari rice harvested in Okayama, these unique rice puffs ($5-$6 each) are available in more than 15 types of sweet or savory flavours ranging from chocolate mint, blueberry to wasabi and curry! Free from artificial flavourings, colorings, eggs, milk, soy and wheat, these delightful morsels come in handy as afternoon snacks or quick breakfasts for lazy mornings! 
Others include black beans, ramen, tomato/fig ice cream, fruits mochi and many more......Some of the popular items like konnyaku noodles and yuzu liqueur are already sold out so do hurry down to the fair before it ends this coming Thursday 6th August!
Okayama Fair @ Isetan Scotts
350 Orchard Road
Shaw House Basement 1
Visit website here for more details on the fair
For more travel information on Okayama, visit the official page (multi-language) at 
http://okayama-japan.jp/en/ 

1 comment:

  1. Great stuff of Okayama. Never had peach dressing though! Hope people in Singapore like these items!

    from Okayama

    ReplyDelete

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