|Name of the GI||Aomori Cassis|
|Date of Protection||2015/12/22|
The Tosei region in Aomori Prefecture (Aomori City; and Hiranai town, Imabetsu town, Yomogita village, and Sotogahama town in Higashitsugaru District)
|Applicant – Name and Address||
Aomori Cassis Association
Aomori products & enterprise support division, Economic department, Aomori city office, 1-22-5 Chuo, Aomori City, Aomori Prefecture, 030-8555, JAPAN
Aomori Cassis is a variety introduced from Germany in 1965. It has small fruits with thick skin, sweetness and bitterness with acidity, and contains many anthocyanins.
In overseas countries, improvement of cassis species has been actively pursued in recent years, specifically by cultivation of varieties with less acidity which are easy to consume raw, varieties where the ripening period is suitable for machine harvesting, and varieties with larger fruits. On the other hand, Aomori Cassis is a variety introduced before these improvements were made overseas, so it is thought to be close to the appearance and taste of the original cassis, because the fruit is small in size, has thick skin, and has both sweetness and bitterness with some sourness. It can be said that this kind is suitable for processing, such as sweetening or combining with dairy products, making full use of its refreshing acidity and unique fragrance.
In addition, although cassis contains abundant amounts of anthocyanins which are a type of polyphenol, it is known that Aomori Cassis has a particularly high concentration. It is believed that the thick skin and small fruit, which are characteristic of Aomori Cassis, result from the violet pigments of anthocyanin in the pericarp.
Cultivation of Aomori Cassis was triggered in 1965 when Professor Takeo Mochizuki of Hirosaki University was on vacation overseas and met Mr. Kemler, a German researcher, who offered some seedlings of a cassis variety that he thought would be suitable to the Aomori climate. Prof. Mochizuki started cassis cultivation at home in Aomori City with the seedlings, and it remained a personal effort for some time until he donated a portion of the tree to the Agricultural Guidance Center in Aomori City after realizing that it was not only nutritious and tasty, but also ideal for the climate of Aomori City. In 1977, seedlings grown at the center were offered to agricultural cooperatives in the city, and as a result, cassis cultivation took root in Aomori city.
Originally, the scale of cultivation was limited, but the establishment of the (present) "Aomori Cassis Association" in 1985 spearheaded subsequent development, and now Aomori, as the first place of production in Japan, began to attract attention from all over the country.