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20140219_00

Mama Too Loves “Papa Gonomi”!

Hello, this is ariTV’s Ōe. I always have white rice for breakfast. Miyagi’s rice is so delicious. I especially love rice from the Ōsaki plain north of Sendai. This time, I want to tell you about delicious rice crackers made from Miyagi rice.

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We visited Matsukura, the producer of a classic senbei snack Papa Gonomi (“Papa’s Favorite”) in Ōsaki, Miyagi. The snack is very familiar to anybody who has lived in Miyagi for a while. Papa Gonomi has been a popular snack since its creation in 1960.

 

It’s a mix with a variety of arare (bite-sized rice cracker) and senbei (similar to arare, but made with a different type of rice).

Can you guess how many types of rice crackers there are? I sorted them and they looked like this:

There are 9 types. Depending on what kind of rice they are made of, their texture and looks change. Try each of them!

 

We had a chance to see the inside of a packaging facility. Each Papa Gonomi package has the same amount of little fish, peanuts, and each type of cracker.

Seeing the big pile of Papa Gonomi bags, I just wanted to grab all I could!

 

In a room filled with the nice fragrance of senbei, we interviewed Managing Director Yoshiki Matsukura.

At the time of 2011 disaster, he appreciated anew the importance of personal relationships. Even though in Ōsaki the damage was relatively minor compared to the tsunami zone, the Matsukura shop here was half destroyed. Reopening anytime soon seemed impossible, but within a couple of days, a trickle of customers started to come. They happened to have more stocks than normal at the time and decided to sell them at a discounted price.

 

One of the customers was a construction firm’s president who was an old acquaintance. Without any real expectation of outcome, he asked the friend to fix his collapsed shop. Surprisingly, the president agreed and called his idle employees to fix the shop.

 

Their factory, by contrast with the shop, did not have much damage. After the electricity supply was restored, they restarted operation on March 22nd.
At a time when food was limited, this nostalgic snack must have been a comfort for many.
Mr. Matsukura doesn’t just maintain their classic flavor, but also keeps trying new things. Next month a sister product of Papa Gonomi will debut. Check it out!

 

Matsukura
location
open 8:30-18:30

 

19

Wed

February,2014

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