|Name of the GI||Odate Tonburi|
|Date of Protection||2017/05/26|
Odate City, Akita Prefecture
|Applicant – Name and Address||
Akita Kita Agricultural cooperative (JA Akita Kita)
7-22 Negeto-shinmachi, Odate City, Akita Prefecture, 017-0864, Japan
Tonburi is a heat-processed mature fruit of Kochia, an annual grass. While the production of tonburi has not spread to other areas of Japan due to difficulties in processing, cultivation and production of Odate Tonburi has continued in Odate City, Akita Prefecture, and it has become widely known as a special product of Akita.
Odate Tonburi has a granular shape with a diameter of 1 to 2 mm. It is odorless and tasteless, but it is often used as a food ingredient to enjoy its texture. Its exquisite popping sensation like that of fish eggs gives it a name, "caviar of the field". In October, the best season for the tonburi, many orders come from inside and outside the prefecture.
The matured Kochia fruit is harvested with a combine, and dried for about a week under the sun or using a dryer. The dried fruit is boiled thoroughly in a pot, treated with hot water for 24 hours, and soaked. After that, the fruit is rubbed, the peel is removed, and it is then desiccated.
In the past, Kochia was cultivated in various places in Japan to make broom, but as the domestic production of broom decreased, the cultivation of Kochia also declined. However, the present area around Odate had a custom of eating the fruit of Kochia from the Edo era, and farmers seem to have grown it for their own consumption.
In 1973, with the emergence of a factory in Odate City, Odate Tonburi became widely known nationwide, and the amount of cultivation and processing increased.
The Hinai area of Odate City is surrounded by mountains and has little wind, so fruits can be harvested efficiently without dropping them. In addition, as the Sumitani River basin of this district is blessed with abundant spring water that is necessary for tonburi processing, it is suitable for production of Odate Tonburi in terms of natural conditions.
With such favorable geographic and climatic conditions, and with the development of processing machinery and convenience of distribution, Odate Tonburi is now well-known all over the country, and the planting area has more than doubled in about 10 years from 1980. Currently, there is no information that tonburi from other regions is on the market, and the whole product is said to be Odate Tonburi.