A taste, preserved throughout the ages.
In contrast to Japan, where consumption of traditional Japanese cuisine has decreased, Japanese cuisine is growing in popularity across the world, notably in the U.S. and across Europe. Japanese cuisine is recognised by UNESCO as an intangible cultural asset on its cultural heritage list. Even though Japanese cuisine’s influence is visibly spreading across the world, « Dashi » which serves as its foundation is not readily available. We discovered during a visit to France, a country with an established food culture, that a number of Misoshiru soups in a certain of Japanese restaurants were lacking in flavour. If we let such culinary experiences develop, it is possible that traditional Japanese cuisine culture will be misrepresented across the world. It was in such a context of a desire to spread the savours of « Dashi » that Makurazaki France Katsuobushi was born.
Our project began in 2013. At that time, Japanese cuisine was very popular due to its healthy and subtle nature coupled with identifiable flavours. Approximately 10,000 Japanese restaurants can already be identified throughout Europe.
The city of Makurazaki, located in Kagoshima Prefecture, has a true historical heritage of over 300 years linked to skipjack fishing. The city of Makurazaki currently hosts the largest production of traditional “Katsuobushi” in Japan, produced in accordance with the traditions and methods of the previous generations.
Offering an authentic “Katsuobushi” in France, and not a “Dashi” in powder form. Having to heart this ambition, “Makurazaki France Katsuobushi” was developed by 10 companies in close collaboration with the Fish Cooperative of Makurazaki.
A taste, preserved throughout the ages
To comply with European food regulations, we have adapted our techniques without compromising our primary goal.
At present it is difficult to export “Katsuobushi” from Japan due to differing food regulations between Japan and third countries as well as pricing and infrastructure constraints. The process of “Ibushi” used in the production of “Katsuobushi” can produce benzopyrene levels that are not compatible with European levels. If the production method is changed, the “Katsuobushi” cannot be qualified as being from “Makurazaki”. This concern was the subject of much debate. After much discussion, we came to a conclusion, our original goal : To convey the “Umami” in the “Dashi” made with “Katsuobushi” through the construction of a production unit in a town with a fishing port, similar to Makurazaki, namely Concarneau in France. Whilst retaining the manufacturing methods of the past, we would establish new manufacturing techniques adapted to the European regulations.
Our objective is to convey the authentic “Dashi”, that is to say its taste accompanied by our culture, in Europe and across the world. We must therefore produce “Katsuobushi” which will be enjoyed by all whilst respecting the traditional production methods. It is fair to state that our challenge is only at its starting point. Even though the “Katsuobushi” from our production unit will initially be made available to Japanese restaurants, we genuinely hope that it will ultimately find its way into local European cuisine, and maybe even find for itself a new culinary use thanks to a fusion of local and Japanese cuisine. As for the manufacturing method, the local method developed in France will be created, developed and transmitted throughout the world in order to offer a “Katsuobushi”, meeting standards similar to that found in Japan, across the world (including Japan). Makurazaki France Katsuobushi will endeavour to produce a genuine katsuobushi in our production unit in Brittany, France preserving the production techniques of old whilst looking towards the future.
"Katsuobushi" and "Dashi". A new stage respecting an ancestral character.