Recently, I was introduced to several different citruses from Japan and in particular two of the citrus products caught my eye. One of them is buntan (the pomelo of japan) and the second is kinatsu (bitter orange). Through research, I found a lot of interesting facts about Kōchi prefecture that I thought you might be interested to know.
Kochi prefecture covers half of the southern part of Shikoku Island, which was once called Tosa. The weather in Kōchi has typical tropical weather, hot and humid. Typhoons often hit this region in the summer, while the sun is very strong even during the winter. As the temperatures change dramatically between day and night it creates a perfect environment for farming, while the climate varies throughout the seasons and location within the prefecture.
As the conditions are ideal for farming, it is actually not a surprise that Kōchi, or Tosa if you like, has earned the nickname of “horticulture country”. Well, you can not be surprised, the reflection from the ocean, makes Kōchi very warm, while the mountain blocks cold air from the north and therefore Kōchi has hot and dry winters as well as hot and wet summers. As it is chilly in the mornings and evenings the temperatures change dramatically between day and night and this is one of the main reasons why Tosa is great for cultivation of high quality fruits and vegetables. If you know anything about me, you know that the most important elements when choosing ingredients for cocktails at IB HQ are the quality of raw ingredients we work with.
What particularly caught my eye is the diversity of citrus family grown by Kōchi farmers. Apart from the lovely well-recognized yuzu, konatsu and buntan are other citrus fruits that we really enjoyed at IB HQ and love to work with.
Stop by our bar and try several of the infusions on its own or explore how they work across different cocktails.
Kamil & Zurina
Bartender’s note: “Did you know that perfectly looking fruit given as a gift in Japan is a symbol of respect and value.”