In Japan, peanuts are largely cultivated in Chiba Prefecture. The beginning of this widespread cultivation began in 1876, during which Sozo Kanaya borrowed seeds and fertilizer interest free from local farmers in the area. He then put all his effort into growing these seeds, which happened to easily flourish in areas where the soil was thin and unable to support cultivation of other vegetables.
Soon cultivation by other farmers spread to the extent that by the middle of the Meiji era peanuts were thriving as an export commodity. Overseas, the peanuts were mostly pressed for oil or made into a paste. In Japan, however, they were largely consumed whole, roasted or boiled, and with just a bit of salt in a simple manner.
Owing to this, the Japanese have a strong preference for this flavor. Even without adding sugar, a peanut paste possess a natural sweetness that is fragrant and rich. It’s very smooth, and even if the oil separates, it easily becomes creamy again with just a little stir.
Manufacturer: Chiba Mamenoka Co. in Yokoshibahikari, Chiba Prefecture (www.kawagoeya.com)
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