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Hoshinoya Tokyo has taken the initiative to support 80 year old ramune company,Tokyo Beverages, by providing kuzukiri noodles flavoured by ramune that would otherwise be discarded this summer.
The collaboration is part of Hoshinoya’s ‘Mottainai Project’, which was started by the hotel and resort company back in 2020 as a way to tackle food waste and related problems across Japan that have been brought on by COVID-19.
The project started with the production of Hoshinoya’s ‘Milk Jam’ made using surplus milk. Since then, they have developed food products that utilize Japanese tea and red potatoes. This time the project is focusing on using the popular summer beverage ‘ramune’.
With COVID-19 putting a damper on a number of festivals and events this summer, Tokyo based ramune manufacturer Tokyo Beverages decided to limit factory operations. This of course, left the beverage company in a tricky position, with a loss of income, and a number of ramune that was going to end up as waste. Luckily, Hoshinoya Tokyo and the Mottainai Project have been able to provide support to the drink company through the production of the kuzukiri ramune noodles.
The staff at Hoshinoya Tokyo were in charge of the development of the kuzukiri ramune noodles, so in order to create a sweet tasting flavour profile, whilst ensuring the ramune retained authenticity, they headed to the Tokyo Beverage Ramune factory in Nakano Ward to touch on the history and culture of the much-beloved drink. The visit allowed the staff to fully understand the development and timeline of ramune, the characteristics of it’s taste, and the feelings that ramune producers pour into each and every bottle.
The resulting collaborative dish consists of kuzukiri noodles bursting with ramune flavour.
For those that haven’t heard of them, kuzukiri noodles are a traditional Japanese dessert usually enjoyed in the summer. The noodles originated in Kyoto, but can now be found throughout Japan at classic Japanese cafes or even in local supermarkets.
Kuzukiri are made by mixing starch powder from the root of a plant known in Japan as Kuzu (Japanese Arrowroot) with water. This special concoction produces a transparent jellylike food, which is cut up into noodles. Kuzukiri itself is almost tasteless, so it is normally sweetened using kuromitsu (black sugar syrup) and kinako or matcha powder.
Hoshinoya’s kuzukiri ramune is being provided as part of the hotel’s ‘Tokyo Summer Night Feast’ – an event that is conveying the culture of Tokyo from the Edo era through to the present day. The hotel also has a limited number of bottled ramune featuring a unique label commemorating the event.
Guests at the hotel resort can enjoy the unique twist of kuzukiri and ramune at Hoshinoya until 31 August 2021. The sweet noodles are available for grabs (free with a hotel booking) at the hotel lounge, whilst the bottled ramune can be picked up from the hotel’s 星のや酒場 (lit. Hoshinoya Tavern).