"Nori" is A Precious Present from MOTHER SEA
In Japanese history, the first written record about Nori was appeared in the Taiho Legal Code (established in 701). Among the about 30 kinds of seaweeds listed in gChoh (a tax in that era), Nori was in the highest class foods.
In Heian Period (about 1000 years ago), some food markets were opened for the public as gNigimedanah for seaweeds and gMohadanah for cooked Kombu, though Nori was not yet presented in those markets. Still, Nori was a food served only for the noble classes.It was many years later that dried sheet Nori and gNori-makih appeared. As Nori became popular and popular among the people with varieties of dishes, Nori was settled as a typical foodstuff in the Japanese dietary culture.
When did Nori become as popular as in the present days?
It was in Edo Period, when the Nori cultivation was started in Tokyo Bay. With the remarkable development of Nori production, Nori was begun to be supplied in many times as much as before. The Edo Shognate encouraged the production, and monopolized its distribution as a good source of government income.
In the middle of Edo Period, gsheet Norih appeared and gNori-makih became popular among the people in Edo. gNori-makih is vinegared rice rolled in Nori, and it can be said as a first-food in those days. Street stalls called gYatai-susih were appeared for selling the Nori-maki. It may be in a similar sense to gOnigirih (rice ball) sold at a convenient store today. Indeed, sheet Nori was a great invention for easily serving boiled rice.
Though Nori farming was started in Edo Period, the ecology of Nori was not proved yet. As the cultivation was unstable, Nori was one of speculative goods, sometimes called as gluck weedh.
In 1949, the British scientist Dr. Kathleen Drew-Baker established the life history of Porphyra unbilicalis involving a shell-borning Conchocelis phase. Her theory sparked off the exponential development of Nori cultivation industry in Japan.
It is well known that Hiroshima is the second oldest growing district of Nori next to Edo. The quality of the Nori has been supported by the technology highly skilled during the long period.
As explained, Nori became very popular in Edo Period, and it was one of the monopoly goods.
The cultivation districts were limited by the government only to Edo and Hiroshima. It was in 1811 that the cultivation/processing technology was established. Hiroshima Nori Goods grown rapidly in the market, and became popular all over Japan as well as oysters.
It was one-hundred years later that the cultivation was permitted for other districts. Till that time, Edo and Hiroshima were the leaders of Nori supply.
After World War II, with the remarkable development of cultivation, the processing was renewed with modern machines in Hiroshima (Niho, Eba and Kusatsu areas). The supply was the third biggest in Japan.
At the time when the cultivation in Tokyo Bay sharply dropped, it happened that gMinomi-Asakusah of Hiroshima was supplied to Tokyo to sell it as the brand name of gAsakusa-norih.
The history in Japan shows that Hiroshima took big footsteps in cultivating and supplying Nori.
We are proud of gNori oyster-soy-sauce-flavoredh, that is one of our most popular goods.
Nori grows only in a certain environmental condition under a suitable climate. The Hiroshima area has beaches shallow to a distance from the water lines, and rich fresh water is being supplied through Ota River. Those are the reasons why Hiroshima is one of the best places for Nori cultivation.
Nori cultivation is started with putting the spores onto oyster shells, and the spores of Nori gradually grow on the shells. It would be needless to say that oyster is one of the most famous specialties of Hiroshima. The nature brings up in turn other nature in this manner.
gNori oyster-soy-sauce-flavoredh, a delicacy of Seto Inland Sea, is processed with concentrated oyster-essence. Please try its luxury flavor brought about with the best balance of smell of sea and rich taste of oyster.
Again, Nori is a precious present from Seto Inland Sea, the Mother Nature.
Nori seems to be an important part of the food culture.
Nori is cultivated also in China, Korea, the UK and New Zealand.
Nori has been enjoyed since many years ago in Japan, China, Korea and the UK .
In the UK, the area is limited, and not so popular in other districts. The type of Nori is different from those in Japan, and enjoyed by putting it on a piece of bread or by frying.
In China, different types of Nori were served, and it was quite recent that Chinese toasted Nori as Japanese do.
Another famous one is gKorean Norih seasoned with sesame oil and salt.
As the Japanese food culture is becoming popular, now Nori is widely enjoyed all over the world, and several countries have increased its farming. As a result, a considerable amount of Chinese and Korean Nori have been reimported to Japan.
The taste of Nori is delicately different in individual area where the Nori was born. Please try various Norifs and find the best one for your family. It is an enjoyable task.