Okinawa-no-Maruyaki claims fifth prize at the Japan Local Products Exhibition

Okinawa-no-Maruyaki claims fifth prize at the Japan Local Products Exhibition

On December 3, Makoto Higa (in the middle of the second row), the owner of Makoto Mochi and his employees who make Okinawa-no-Maruyaki at Izumi in Motobu.


December 7, 2012 Ryukyu Shimpo

The Japan Local Products Exhibition run by the Central Federation of Commerce and Industry was held in Tokyo between November 23 and 25. Okinawa-no-Maruyaki, a food item produced by Makoto Mochi in Motobu, represented Okinawa, and won the fifth prize. Makoto Higa, the owner of the company, said, “I am confident about Okinawa-no-Maruyaki. It is right up there at national level in terms of its taste.” Awards were made after voting by the participants and as many as 3000 Okinawa-no-Maruyaki were sold in the three days.

Okinawa-no-Maruyaki was produced with the support of the Okinawa Prefectural Government in 2012. Makoto-Mochi commenced sales in May, with the price pitched at 550 yen for three pieces. It uses tacos-type cheese, rafute (pork with soy sauce), purple yam and other Okinawan daily items and sweets made into a paste form and wrapped in a batter made of rice flour. Unlike the Nagano Prefecture oyaki (Japanese dumpling with bean paste), which uses wheat flour or buckwheat flour, this new-product stays true to the original idea of mochi (rice cake).

Higa uses existing equipment to make Okinawa-no-Maruyaki. He distributes the product to stores as well as selling online, and is now talking with retail stores in Okinawa and other prefectures. He said, “The basic concept of the product is to wrap Ryukyuan dishes up together. There are three ways to eat it: fried, toasted or just heated up. We want people to know more about it, and for it to become a regular afternoon snack in Okinawa.” The Makoto Mochi website is http://www.makoto-mochi.jp/

(English translation by T&CT, Hitomi Shinzato and Mark Ealey)

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