Ehime: New Cuisine from Governor’s Gaffe

The Yomiuri Shimbun
A hotpot containing jakoten and kiritanpo

UWAJIMA, Ehime — A frozen hot pot set containing local specialties of Akita and Ehime prefectures has been created after a gaffe by Akita’s governor.

The product includes jakoten, a fried minced fish patty from Ehime, and kiritanpo, cylinder-shaped mashed rice from Akita. It was developed by Yasuoka Kamaboko-ten, a store producing and selling jakoten in Uwajima, Ehime Prefecture.

What started it all was a remark by Akita Gov. Norihisa Satake in October, when he remarked that jakoten “looks shabby.” Though the governor later apologized, many Akita residents seem to have felt sorry for people from Ehime. The store has since received many orders for jakoten from Akita Prefecture.

When the store participated in an event in Tokyo promoting local cuisines, many Akita natives visited the store booth and tried jakoten. They said, “Sorry for Satake’s remark,” “It’s so delicious,” and “Never shabby.” In the event, a food maker from Akita Prefecture happened to sell sets of kiritanpo hot pots next to Yasuoka’s booth, and many visitors put jakoten into hot pots, which inspired the staff to produce the kiritanpo hot pot packs with jakoten pieces in the shape of Akita Prefecture.

The hot pot set, which serves three to four people, was sold in limited quantity for ¥5,940 each, and all 50 sets were sold. The store is thinking of offering additional sets early next year.