In the south west of Hokkaïdo island ( north Japan), 40 km from Sapporo, in the Yuubari region, there is a small village of 6300 inhabitants living mainly from farming: rice, physalis pruinosa, shiitaké, aromatic herbs, apple juice…JA Sorachi Minami, an agricultural cooperative is based there. One of its members, Kaze Kaoru Sato Club, founded by 8 women in 2001, is specialised in shiso and in the production of traditionally made juice and jam from 100 % natural ingredients grown by the cooperative. Their motto: "elaborate products with love".
The rather small amount of products are essentially sold locally or honour the best tables on Hokkaïdo island.
One product which is exceptional from every point of view from Kaze Kaoru Sato Club : shiso juice.
Kaze Kaoru Sato Club grows its shiso over 3 hectares. The harvest is from June to August and is used in the production of the much sought after 1500 litres of shiso juice. Only 250 litres are reserved for export and Nishikidori-market is sole importer and distributor.
What is shiso ?
Shiso is an aromatic plant grown in Japan since antiquity. It very quickly established itself in Japanese gastronomy. Shiso can be red or green.
Red shiso is traditionally used to colour the umeboshi plum, or, dried, to make condiments.
Green shiso is used as an aromatic pant. It is a must in sashimis (sliced raw fish), grated raw vegetable salad, everyday dishes, even tempura.
Shiso is rich in ß-carotene, iron, potassium, magnesium, zinc…
It is very rich in vitamins and essential minerals.
Green shiso is blessed with nutritional qualities and red shiso with aseptic qualities (prevention of allergies such as allergic rhinitis and atypical dermatitis or anaemia) or to restore a balanced mind.