“B-kyu Gotochi Gurume” (B-class gourmet cuisine) in Japan
- B-1 Grand Prix
- B-kyu Gotochi Gurume in Eastern Japan
- B-kyu Gotochi Gurume in Western Japan
B-1 Grand PrixThe “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.
B-kyu Gotochi Gurume in Eastern JapanAfter 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.
B-kyu Gotochi Gurume in Western JapanOkayama 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”.
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!