Kemame, which means furry beans, is a native edamame variety that is mainly cultivated in Tsugaru region of Aomori. The beans are larger and have a sweeter, more fragrant taste, and smooth texture.
Edamame has grown in popularity in North America and Europe since the 2000s thanks to advances in refrigeration technology and increased interest in Japanese food as a healthy cuisine.
Edamame is considered to be a summer vegetable in the majority of Japan, however, kemame is associated with fall in Aomori because it is harvested when temperatures begin to drop in the morning and at night.
Traditionally, edamame is blanched in salt water. In Aomori, it is also customary to eat pickled edamame called “Mamezuke.”
Kemame can be found in stores around the end of August, starting with the variety Aomori Toyomaru, followed by Aomori Fukumaru, and finally by the original kemame variety. Harvest season used to be around mid-September when the temperature change becomes more drastic and the beans have developed their sweetness from the cold. However, due to popular demand, the early-ripening varieties Aomori Toyomaru and Aomori Fukumaru were developed through selective breeding.
These varieties grow faster even when planted at the same time as the original kemame, making it possible for an August harvest. Kemame lovers are now able to enjoy a longer season thanks to the development of Aomori Toyomaru and Aomori Fukumaru.
Main Production Region: Aomori Tsugaru region
in season distribution period
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Local Dish Using Kemame
Kenoshiru is one of the many country-style dishes originally from the Tsugaru region in Aomori prefecture. A nutritious soup dish, kenoshiru uses a variety of ingredients.