Snuko dines on barnacles on Ebisu Island!
Accompanied by culinary researcher Snuko, I traveled the seas and mountains of the Izu Peninsula. Our aim was to acquire and cook with strange Izu-esque rarely eaten in regular home cooking. The first thing we did was head to Ebisu Island in the municipality of Shimoda, located on the south side of the Izu Peninsula. Together with fishermen, we hunted for the crabs, barnacles, and seaweed that live on the rocky shore.
Next, we headed to Izu's Shuzenji district, located in the central section of the Izu peninsula. This area is famous for wasabi cultivation. We walked through wasabi fields with local farmers, observed traditional wasabi cultivation, and heard the burbling murmur of spring water.
Next we visited a farm cultivating shiitake mushrooms in the same Shuzenji district. From the mountain’s hillside to its summit, the fields were full of logs used to cultivate shiitake mushrooms. The mountain’s slopes were wooded with beautiful forest for these logs. The unimaginable scale was astonishing.
In the city of Izu, we visited a municipal facility that processes deer and wild boars hunted in the local area, and bought meat at some neighboring supermarkets. Using this venison with the shiitake mushrooms and wasabi we saw earlier, Snuko created Izu venison steaks with wasabi butter sauce! Both meat and mushrooms were incredibly plump and delicious.