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“B-kyu Gotochi Gurume” (B-class gourmet cuisine) in Japan


contents


  1. B-1 Grand Prix
  2. B-kyu Gotochi Gurume in Eastern Japan
  3. B-kyu Gotochi Gurume in Western Japan
  4. Summary
Simple, cheap, ordinary but true taste temptations in Japan such as ramen, okonomiyaki, udon noodles, yakisoba, curry rice, hamburgers, and donburi  are called B-kyu gurume (B-class gourmet cuisine). B-kyu gurume dishes, well known to all the locals but not to most outsiders, are usually prepared using mainly local ingredients and are referred to as B-kyu gotochi gurume (B-class local gourmet dishes). B-kyu gotochi gurume embodies the charm of local ingredients and the local culture and has been attracting more and more attention these days.

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B-1 Grand Prix

The “B-1 Grand Prix” is an annual B-kyu Gotochi Gurume Festival that began in 2006. Unlike other cooking contests, the aim of the B-1 Grand Prix is not only to find the best tastes but also recognition of the local areas of the participating groups. At the 5th Annual B-1 Grand Prix held in Atsugi City, Kanagawa Prefecture, in September 2010, there were 46 participating groups and 435,000 visitors enjoyed the various local dishes during the two-day festival.
The 2010 champion was “Kofu tori motsu-ni,” chicken giblets in a thick sweet-salty glaze made with sugar and soy sauce. It has been pleasing the palates of customers at soba restaurants in Kofu City, Yamanashi Prefecture, for many years. The runner-up was “Hiruzen yakisoba” from Maniwa City, Okayama Prefecture. This yakisoba dish containing chicken is cooked with a jingisukan (mutton barbecue) sauce and a miso-based sauce. “Hachinohe senbei-jiru,” a soup prepared with pieces of the specialty Nambu senbei (rice crackers) cooked in miso with plenty of local vegetables, came in third.

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B-kyu Gotochi Gurume in Eastern Japan

After the success of Fujinomiya yakisoba, many local groups have been promoting their local gourmet dishes, and so now there are many B-kyu gotochi gurume dishes to chose from.
Aomori Prefecture is famous for Hachinohe senbei-jiru and many other B-kyu dishes.
“Yokote yakisoba” from Yokote City, Akita Prefecture, is known for its unique combination of yakisoba with a sunny-side egg on top served with fukujinzuke (Japanese soy-based pickles) on the side.
“Black yakisoba” from Itoigawa City, Niigata Prefecture, is a unique yakisoba made with squid ink.
The winner of the 3rd B-1 Grand Prix was “Atsugi sirokoro horumon” from Atsugi City, Kanagawa Prefecture. This is a delicious dish of grilled pork giblets served at various restaurants, each with a different and original dipping sauce.
Shizuoka Prefecture boasts a wide variety of B-kyu gotochi gurume. Fujinomiya yakisoba heads the list, followed by “Susono suigyoza” (boiled gyoza dumplings) from Susono City.

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B-kyu Gotochi Gurume in Western Japan

Okayama Prefecture has many popular dishes including the B-1 Grand Prix high-ranking regular from Okayama City, “Tsuyama horumon udon,” and last year’s runner-up “Hiruzen yakisoba.” Hiroshima Prefecture, famous for okonomiyaki, also has “Hiroshima tsukemen,” a noodle dish served with a spicy red soup on the side. Kokura in Kitakyusyu City, Fukuoka Prefecture, in Kyusyu is the home of “yaki-udon”.

Summary

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There are many more B-kyu dishes all over Japan. Some may falsely claim to be B-kyu dishes by taking advantage of this boom to attract customers so you may want to do a little research on the Internet or other sources to make sure that you will be partaking of “authentic” B-class local gourmet cuisine. Enjoy B-kyu gotochi gurume fare and, at the same time, invigorate the local area!

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