Tsukemono

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The history of Tsukemono

The history of Tsukemono

Tsukemono means pickled vegetables in Japanese, the origin of tsukemono is very old. Surrounded by ocean, Japan developed its tsukemono culture in unique way. We can’t tell when people started making tsukemono exactly because it’s food, however, it’s said that a history is back to before century and by its easy way: let vegetables with sea salt for a while, it’s estimated that people has eaten tsukemono from long time ago. As an official record, tsukemono appeared on Japanese history in Tenpyo era (729-749). In that records, people made tsukemono with vegetables and sea salt. After that period, when oriental cultures from main China and Arabic countries came into Japan through Korean peninsula, as Japanese culture had gotten more international flavored, tsukemono had also developed. During middle ages, tsukemono spread into common people, there were tsukemono shops, and people enjoyed tsukemono at dining table more easily.

Tsukemono in Japanese food culture

Tsukemono in Japanese food culture

In present Japan society, tsukemono market developed as much as 60 billion dollars due to people caring about their health problems more than before. Tsukemono is loved by Japanese people for a long time as a side dishes accompany rice. In Japan, some people make their own tsukemono in their house by themselves. How to make tsukemono and the house original recipe is inherited from ancestors to pickled descendants.

When you heard pickles, you might image sliced sour cucumbers in hamburgers, however, in Japan, there are more various tsukemono types such as pickled vegetables with salt, miso, soy sauce, and mustard. Tsukemono is also sorted by its pickled terms: from quick pickles for 1 or 2 days to preserved pickles for 1 to 2 months. Some of them are preserved for as long as 5 years, it’s said that the longer spend time, the better taste become. How to make tsukemono is different from regions and its climates. Perhaps, tsukemono is same as cheese in western countries.

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