Kawajima produces the most figs in Saitama Prefecture
The goal for this workshop was to create tartlets using Kawajima figs. The event started off with Kawajima Mayor, Kazuo Iijima, introducing Kawajima figs, which was the ingredient the workshop focused on.
Mayor Iijima said, “The fig producers’ cooperative of Kawajima recommends using organic fertilizer for crops, and extremely strict standards on pesticides, size, color and sugar content have been established for quality control. The main characteristics of Kawajima figs are their quality and sweetness.”
Kawajima Town started focusing on fig production approximately 10 years ago, and has grown to become Saitama Prefecture’s leading fig producer. Kawajima fig trees are espaliers (with the branches trained to spread from north to south, or east to west), which provides ample ventilation and sunlight. The sugar content is designated to a minimum of 13 degrees, making the figs very sweet. The local community cherishes its special figs and has even created the mascot characters Kawabe and Kawamin based on figs.
Mayor Iijima added, “Kawajima is located in the middle of Saitama Prefecture. It is only a short distance away from central Tokyo, but is blessed with a lush natural environment and delicious produce. We look forward to seeing you!”
marimo also commented on the appeal of Kawajima figs: “I also love figs, and the figs sent over by the Kawajima farmers for this workshop are such a beautiful color and so ripe! They are also very sweet and flavorful, so dreaming up all the possibilities for this workshop was very exciting.”
Making fig tartlets
The main event of this workshop was marimo’s cooking demonstration. A small, round tartlet, containing baked figs and topped with raw figs, as well, was made for each of the participants at the workshop. The eggs used in the cream were the highly-nutritious “Cinderellan” eggs from Suzuki Farm, which is also located in Kawajima.
The participants observed marimo’s demonstration before they peeled the figs, baked the tartlets and then topped them with cream and sliced figs.
After the tartlets were completed, marimo also gave a lecture on photography techniques. The participants used their own smartphones and digital cameras for a photoshoot of their tartlets. They positioned their sweets, tableware and tea cups, and experimented with their digital devices under natural light.
marimo joined the participants at the tasting, and responded to many questions on making sweets. The workshop ended as a great success.
Kawajima food booths, the fig production center
The same day also saw a Kawajima food booths called the Kawajima Harvest Fair being held in the Marugoto Nippon venue. Members of Kawajima ☆ Miraijuku also took part in the event, passionately promoting their town. The Kawajima ☆ Miraijuku organization consists mainly of the younger generation of Kawajima. The organization actively plans and operates events, conducting investigations and research in order to make proposals for the future of Kawajima. The fig drink created by the Miraijuku members was offered at the Marugoto Nippon’s Café M/N to rave reviews.
Figs from the Kawajima farmers sold out every day at the food booth, and the additive-free fig jam made by farmers’ wives were also a great hit.
Kawajima also features tourist farms where visitors can experience fig harvesting, and they can also purchase figs at farmers’ markets. We recommend visiting Kawajima during the fig season next year to taste some fresh, local figs!
Website for KJ（Kawa Jima） brand
Saitama Prefecture Tourism Information