Hi guys! Let my first post of this blog starts with the number-one food that 57.6% * of the Japanese people eat on New Year’s Eve! THE SOBA!!!! Or we call it “Toshi-koshi soba” (年越し蕎麦). What’s cool about it (for me) is that you MUST eat this meal BEFORE new year! Not after.
According to many sources, this menu has many origins such as:
– Soba noodles have long and thin texture, suggesting a longevity.
– goldsmiths believed that their luck of discovering gold was because they had soba rice balls, so soba = good luck
– because soba noodles are easy to cut, people believe that it is like you cut the bad luck/fate or whatever you struggled with this year so that it won’t be carried over to the next year. Hence, eat the soba before new year.
– During Kamakura period, the temples in Hakata treated the townspeople soba for good luck.
and there are so many more stories of origin…
There is also a belief that you should finish eating soba on the night of 31st because if you don’t then you might not be blessed with FINANCIAL luck in the next year.
So what do people put ON TOP on the New Year Eve’s soba?
From this website called “cookpad,” (linked above for the picture) a must-have topping is “spring onion!” which is “negi” in Japanese. (ねぎ) “Negi” is similar to a word “Negu” and thus the word “negirau” (労う)meaning to thank for. So put lots of “negi” tonight and be thankful for the past year, ready to receive more good things to come in the new year!
BY THE WAY…
Among all the Japanese national noodles, I love soba the most! It is, for me, the healthiest type of all. “All” here includes udon, ramen, pasta, soumen, etc…anything that is white in color. Soba contains all eight essential amino acids and more fiber. 🙂
The calories might not differ…in the end soba is still one type of carbs, but it is the good carb that I encourage people to try! Maybe this weekend, you can change from Maru Udon and head to Fuji Soba for a change?
HAPPY NEW YEAR 2014 everyone!