Shimizumori Namba is a variety of red pepper with a history of more than 400 years. It is said to have been brought from Fushimi Inari in Kyoto to Tsugaru by the first Hirosaki feudal clan lord Tamenobu Tsugaru, who unified the Tsugaru region during the Age of Provincial Wars. “Namba” means red pepper in Tsugaru, with its origins from the word “Namban.”
The Shimizumori area of Hirosaki city became the eminent producer nationwide, reaching the status of the largest cultivator of red peppers. Around 1965, however, it nearly ceased to exist as imported cheaper red peppers dominated the domestic market.
In the recent years, volunteers have come together to preserve this traditional vegetable through seed preservation and improved product management including seedling and soil management and branding.
Shimizumori Namba is a large-sized breed, with mild spiciness and great fragrance. It has the highest sugar content in all domestic red peppers and is also high in vitamin A, C, and E.
One of the traditional foods in the area is pickled Namban also called Isshozuke. Isshozuke is made with one sho (an old Japanese liquid unit equivalent to 1800 cc.) each of green Namba, malted rice, and soy sauce. When made with Shimizumori Nanba, it is much more fragrant and flavorful. The pickle pairs excellently with steamy white rice or tofu.
Many Shimizumori Namba products have become available, bestowed with the mild spiciness and rich flavor of the pepper.
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Depending on the season and weather, this product may not be available.