Local Famous Foods
(At a souvenir shop in Akita)
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Akita Prefecture Tsukemono Cooperative Association
16-18 Sakae-machi, Noshiro City, Akita, Japan

Raw Materials: Radish, rice bran, natural salt, red pepper
Shipping Season: December -
Best-Before Date: 2 months before opening the package

It's on sale all year round, but I heard it's new and crispy from mid-December to March.


This Iburi-Gakko is one of the strong pickles of Akita. You can imagine that some people think it's just "takuan", but it's not. Many people have probably heard of it, but surprisingly few people have eaten it.

Iburi-Gakko is made from daikon radish that is hung on the ceiling of an irori and smoked, then pickled with salt and buka. I don't know now, but it used to be that only smashed daikon was sold, and each family would pickle it. I heard that it was the taste of the Akita family.

I ate something I bought at a souvenir shop in Akita, but the smoked part was very bitter and hard. It was so strong that it was hard to chew through bad teeth. Is there such a thing as pickle? I'm worried about whether I can eat a whole bottle.

When you ask people from Akita, they say, "That's not true, the real thing isn't like that. Apparently it's more intense than it really is. He also says that what you see in souvenir shops has lost some of its strong personality. Hmm, maybe it's different when you actually eat gakko, which has been eaten in Akita since ancient times, instead of at a souvenir shop. Ah, I feel like eating the real Iburi-Gakko...

Later, while traveling in Akita, I came across a delicious "Iburi-Gakko" at an inn. When you put it in your mouth, it has a smoky aroma. When I chewed it, it wasn't so hard, but it had a deep umami flavor. I think I'm starting to like Iburi-Gakko. By the way, the same one was sold at the souvenir shop in the inn, and it was a "gakko" from the Sakura Foods Farmers' Association.

[ 2013.07 ] The other day, I went to Akita and found "Iburi-Gakko" at the breakfast of the hotel and at the tourist restaurant. Recently, I was surprised that "Iburi-Gakko" started to appear more often, but they were all delicious again. It seems that the situation in Akita is changing.

[ 2017.07 ] "Iburi-Gakko" is becoming a major food item these days. First of all, if you go to Akita, you'll find Iburi-Gakko in most tourist restaurants. And again, it was delicious. I don't even know which one to buy, as far as its branding is concerned.
©Japanese Famous Foods , Update:2020/07/12