■ What Soba is…
Soba is made by taking off the skin of the buckwheat plant, grinding the seeds into powder and kneading it, after spreading it out with a roller pin on a wooden board, cutting them into thin strips with a Soba cutting knife and then finished by cooking in boiling water.
There are many varieties of Soba. Color, as a matter of course, the fragrances and the tastes also vary.
The differences arise in the processes for making the soba flour, such as the difference in milling method of being mechanically milled or stone grist milled and which portion of the buckwheat seed is ground for the used flour.
Since these differences come from many elements such as the weather of the production area, the preference of the producer and tradition, although all are Soba, there are as many Soba types as the number of shops serving them.
Why don’t you pursue the fun of seeking the one catering to your taste from the rich variety of Soba dishes, the Japanese tradition handed down or taking in new elements?
■ Popular Way of Eating It
① Take a mouthful portion of the Soba served on such as a bamboo sieve, dip in sauce and eat it. The seasonings are mixed into the sauce or topped on the soba, according to preference.
ex Zarusoba, Morisoba
② Soba which is immersed in the hot soup is eaten by adding seasoning by preference.
■ Points You Should Know
・The Japanese style is to slurp the noodles in order to enjoy the fragrance and the how it goes down.
・Variation in taste can be enjoyed by the seasoning and toppings
・Some times boiling water of the Soba is also served ⇒ See below
■ What is Sobayu?
The boiling water used for cooking the soba is called “Sobayu” and in most shops it is served at the end or at the same time the soba is served.
Soba can be enjoyed to the last by either pouring the Sobayu into the remaining sauce or sipping it as it is.
Note) Usually, Sobayu is not served with the hot Soba bowls.
■ Allergy to Soba and its Nutrition
Sometimes allergic reactions occur when the proteins contained in the Soba flour is consumed. Children under 3 years of age and those with any allergies should be especially cautious.
Caution should be taken even when you are eating Udon in a Soba shop when you are allergic to Soba because there are cases when the boiling water for the noodles are the same.
Despite the points to be notes such as above, Soba is rich in vitamins and high-quality protein and is recognized in Japan as food being low in calories and healthy.
■ Not only eating. “SOBA” also gives you the joy of seeing
Some shops display stone mills for grinding the Soba seed and Soba making by a craftsman can be actually seen, sometimes.
Soba making is not just merely cooking.
It also has artistic elements such as in making a sculpture.
There are places where you can actually experience the Soba making yourself, so if you are interested, why don’t you search for one?