|Name of the GI||Kurosaki Chamame|
|Date of Protection||2017/04/21|
Kurosaki area, Koshin-Matoba area, and Kamegai-Toraaki area in Nishi-Ku, Niigata City, all in Niigata Prefecture
|Applicant – Name and Address||
Niigata City Kurosaki Area Chamame Union Association
53 Kiba, Nishi-Ku, Niigata City, Niigata Prefecture, 950-1122, Japan
Kurosaki Chamame are edamame (soybeans) with the characteristic "color", "fragrance" and good mouthfeel of a variety derived from the Kohirakata soybean. Since the thin skins in the pod are brown, they came to be called chamame (brown beans). Their "fragrance" can be likened to that of roasting tea or popcorn, and when this is added to the "fragrance" and texture of green soybeans, the result is a taste you never tire of.
Because they have a unique aroma when they are boiled and a good balance of its flavor and sweetness, they are widely used for gifts, and have earned a high reputation as a luxury edamame.
The production area of Kurosaki Chamame is located in the alluvial land area downstream of the Shinano River. Most of the fields are converted fields which are zero meters above sea level, and their fertile soil is ideal for the growth of edamame. However, Kurosaki Chamame is difficult to cultivate and manage compared to other varieties, and if the sowing season is earlier, there is a risk the plant will grow higher and topple over. This has been overcome with integrated efforts across the whole production area, with cropping patterns and cultivation management that suit the variety.
During cultivation, the appropriate sowing and harvesting time are set so that its unique characteristic of "fragrance" and "taste" can be brought out to the fullest extent. Also, harvesting is usually carried out in the morning as maintaining freshness is a priority.
The attributes of Kurosaki Chamame, "color" "fragrance" and "taste", greatly depend on the variety, and the establishment of the variety has a deep relationship with the production locale. Kohirakata chamame, the ancestor of Kurosaki Chamame, was first introduced from Tsuruoka City, Yamagata Prefecture in the late Meiji era (1910's). After many years, in the village of Kohirakata in the Kurosaki area, those with a strong "fragrance", which were suitable for the local climate and soil, were selected. The seeds were strictly protected, and never allowed to be taken out of the area.
Since then, after the 1970s, cultivation expanded to the Kurosaki area as an alternative crop to rice, and they were named Kurosaki Chamame at this time. Eventually, chamame cultivation spread throughout the prefecture, but the name Kurosaki Chamame is used only for those produced at this location.