15:49 1 September 2016
CONCARNEAU, France, Sept. 1, Kyodo
Gourmets in Europe may soon taste the difference in dishes at local Japanese restaurants as the production of authentic Japanese “katsuobushi” — or dried bonito flakes, a crucial ingredient in Japanese cuisine — will shortly begin in France.
Makurazaki France Katsuobushi Co., a company headquartered in Makurazaki, southwestern Japan, has built a 920-square-meter factory in Concarneau in the Brittany region of northwestern France, to provide dried bonito shavings made with Japanese artisan skills to restaurants and stores throughout Europe.
“I hope this factory becomes a place from which katsuobushi will spread its wings around the world,” said President Katsuhiko Oishi, during a ceremony Wednesday in Concarneau commemorating the completion of the factory.
Andre Fidelin, mayor of the French port town with a population of 19,000, also attended the ceremony and said that Concarneau will share its journey into the future with katsuobushi.
Some 200 people attended the ceremony, in which the mayor, the president and other officials jointly cracked open a barrel of sake.
It has been difficult for Japanese dried bonito makers to export large amounts of their products to Europe due to strict regulations imposed by both the European Union and the individual countries.
At the Concarneau factory, bonito will be procured from a French fisheries company in the Indian Ocean, to produce some 200 kilograms of dried bonito daily — the initial output target.
After shaving the dried bonito, the flakes will be shipped in 40-gram packets, beginning in October.
Article source: http://english.kyodonews.jp/news/2016/09/431431.html