We read and then eat a rare edition of the Hokkaido Shimbun newspaper made from seaweed


Additional! Additional! Eat everything!

On the northern tip of Japan lies the large island prefecture of Hokkaido. While it is famous for many things, such as great food, natural landscapes and roads, it does not get the respect it deserves as Japan’s leading producer of a variety of seaweed known as kombu.

This is something the local Hokkaido Shimbun newspaper hopes to rectify by raising awareness through projects like their annual Hokkaido Kombu Shimbun. This special edition Hokkaido Shimbun made entirely of kombu and printed with edible ink is released each year on Kombu Day, November 15.

The lack of kombu awareness in Hokkaido is a serious problem. Although the prefecture is the largest producer of this seaweed, its consumption ranks 41st out of 47 prefectures in Japan. However, the Hokkaido Kombu Shimbun turned out to be the main catalyst in attracting people to algae. It sells out almost immediately every year in a limited edition of 100 copies and is considered so rare that some people prefer to preserve it rather than eat it.

Our writer, Masanuki Sunakoma, was one of the lucky few to get copies of both local and national editions of the Hokkaido Kombu Shimbun this year.

First, Masanuki sat down at his table and read the seaweed messages. It contained a lot of interesting information about kombu, such as the word “kombu” derived from the language of the indigenous Ainu people of Hokkaido, as well as the above-mentioned statistics on production and consumption.

When he finished reading, our reporter began to eat his newspaper – or rather “newskelp”. Like the kombu sold in supermarkets, it was dried and very hard, but because it is one of the best kombu produced in Japan, it was extremely flavorful and flavorful.

The Hokkaido Shimbun recommends soaking messages in one liter of water for 10 hours. Readers can then use the broth for cooking, soups, or just drinking. Masanuki, however, decided to take only half a sheet and boil it for 30 minutes in the same amount of water.

By removing the messages just before boiling, he was able to get umami-rich broth.

As both an excellent source of news and dietary fiber, Masanuki was very pleased with the Hokkaido Kombu Shimbun. The added benefit was that he felt like a spy who ate his information.

He wonders if edible news isn’t something that could be adopted. Baked goods with current events printed on them would be great for commuting, and the empty seaweed around the rice balls seems like a huge waste of print space.

Pictures ©SoraNews24
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