A local buffet that you can enjoy for 100 yen a plate of Yamagata’s “Yama no Gottsu Festival”

I want to connect the culinary culture of the Asahi region with the local industry

Asahi Goo is a direct sales office opened in 2004 with the aim of revitalizing the local and regional industry of the Asahi region. In the self-contained hotel building, we have a restaurant, where you can directly sell agricultural and processed products made in the Asahi area and enjoy dishes made from rich agricultural products.

“Yama no Gottsu Festival” started in 2011, the members of the processing subcommittee producing processed products sold at the sales office directly play a central role. It was held twice in the first year, then gradually increased and held nine times in 2017.

Is it impossible to connect the culinary culture of the Asahi region, which is blessed with mountain products such as wild vegetables and mushrooms, with industry? As a result, thinking, it seems that there are plans to organize an event to serve the local dishes they ate as a “party” to the visitors.

“Mothers in Asahi region are all very energetic and good at cooking,” Sato said. The main characters of the Yamano Gottsu Festival are local dishes and creative dishes handcrafted by mothers who are good at cooking. Each time, 20 participants will be in charge of about 2 dishes each, and about 30 kinds of dishes will be arranged into a small plate.

Visitors can choose and enjoy their favorite dishes, but the feature is that each dish costs 100 yen. Someone said: “Depending on the dish, it is better to divide the price”, but people talk about the current style, saying that “A plate of 100 yen is enough for people to eat arbitrarily”. I settle down.

Lots of parties you just can’t eat at the regular direct sales office

This party can be prepared because the members of the processing committee are the producers who have fields at home.

Since the Asahi area is an area of ​​heavy snowfall, “when a snowstorm occurs, the number of customers will decrease immediately”. Even when the weather is fine, we don’t know how many visitors will be until the date of the event as this is not a reservation system. The members will prepare between 50 and 100 people for each category and welcome visitors.

The first step is to secure ingredients for your cooking, but if you use ingredients made in your industry, you can guarantee quantities even if it is difficult to market. You can also think of a menu using ingredients that can be steadily harvested on the day of the event. The strong point is that the members are all producers.

At the direct sales office, there are local pastries like “Tochi pies” and “Tochi dumplings” steamed with tochinoki and rice cake flour, “Sasamaki” made by wrapping rice cakes in leaves bamboo and boil in ash water. We sell processed products using mountain products such as wild vegetables, mushrooms and walnuts.
Most of the dishes served at the Yamano Gottsu Festival are not sold at the direct sales office. The thrill of taking a plate full of dishes that you normally would not be able to eat while wondering about it has captured the appreciation of the enjoyer.

“Yama no Gottsu Festival” is an important source of income

Preparing for an event isn’t just about cooking. Mr. Sato says that the most difficult is “being active during the day”. The members will work together to give guests a good time by sharing different roles such as accountant and laundry area. Since everyone has their own specialty, it is important to hold meetings in advance and make adjustments so that the curator does not wear it.

As a result of these efforts, the members of the processing subcommittee have increased their income. We still sell handcrafted products in Asahi and Goo, but it seems that our income stream has increased since we started the Yamano Gottsu Festival. “I am very grateful that the unstable agricultural output has motivated the members”.

The average food and drink per tourist is 756 yen. Since one plate is 100 yen, many people eat about 7 dishes. Some visitors brought out a lunch box saying, “I want to bring home for my family to eat” and “I want to eat at home because I cannot conquer all the dishes”.

Also, before the start of the event, visitors often queue up at the entrance. The members seem to be encouraged by the increasing number of visitors year by year.

To pass on the local culinary culture to the next generation

There’s a reason why Yamano Gottsu Festival has evolved into a representative event for the Asahi region. “There is less opportunity for locals to eat local food. Maybe because they attracted visitors to eat such local food. I think many people miss the taste of the homeland. their.” Mr. Sato said.

However, the members of processing subcommittee are mainly elderly people, some people are over 80 years old. Looking at my fitness and wanting to participate at a reasonable level, the challenge is still looking for a successor.

“What the event attendees look for is the traditional taste passed down from generation to generation. Local mothers and local flavors are our treasure. Food culture. The locality is passed on to the next generation I think I have to tell you Some of them are members in their 30s, and she cooks the dishes taught by her mother-in-law. The more the younger generation, the better. The mother is the motivation. enough “.

The next “Yama no Gottsu Festival” will be held from 10:00 Sunday April 8.

Mr. Sato, who grew up in Shonaihama on the shores of Tsuruoka City, said: “At first I was surprised because it was so luxurious. and mushrooms. ” Why don’t you go eat a loving dish of local mothers that can only be eaten here?

Photo courtesy of Asahi Sangyo