Feb 262013

Good afternoon, everyone! It’s a beautiful sunny day today at the Itoigawa Global Geopark. It’s hard to believe after so much wind and snow!

As you may know, Itoigawa is home to Niigata Prefecture’s only maritime high school, Kaiyo High School in Nou.

As part of their school curriculum, students at Kaiyo cultivate and harvest marine products and use them to produce their own food products.  They’ve already scored a local hit with their “Mako Jam,” a salty sweet preserve-like spread made from kombu kelp. This year they have produced another kombu-based treat:

Mako-chan Udon

Mako-chan Udon

Made with kelp cultivated in the waters around Benten-iwa Geosite, Mako-chan Udon noodles have a speckled green, almost jade-like appearance. While I have, unfortunately, yet to have the opportunity to try them, my coworker tells me they have a nice ‘al dente’ body when cooked and are very smooth, with a rich, savory flavor (thanks to the natural umami found in kelp) that pairs well with any udon broth.

Mako-chan Udon Detail

The students at Kaiyo High School worked hard to perfect this recipe and are confident that it will be a success. Here at the Geopark Office we are inclined to agree!