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12/27/2012

Fishermen in Saunohama hold grand opening of oyster grill

On Sunday 9the of December, fishermen in the fishery town of Sasunohama had the grand opening of an "oyster grill", a small dining hall to offer oysters. Immediately after the 11 a.m. opening, the first visitor, shivering from cold, came in. "Where are you from?" I asked him, then he answered that he was from Aizu, Fukushima; Ishinomaki was his wife's home town; he had been fishing since this morning and landed several fishes including flatfishes; but he was thinking of getting back for it was too cold to continue fishing when he found a flag of the grill flying; he immediately walked into the grill, saying to him "I'll have my favorite oysters! I'm in luck!" Then a grill staff member called out to him "You are the memorable first visitor.", that making him laugh in embarrassment.

【The first visitor of the grill.】
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Visitors kept coming in after half-past eleven, and so it took very little time to fill the seats. The grill staff members served the visitors with a soup of mussels, a nice broth made with home-grown mussels, and they enjoyed the soup. The soup seemed to get them out of the cold.

【The broth made with mussels in a large pot.】
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【The soup of mussels please visitors from Nakaniita. 】
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Although one-year-old oysters grown in Sasunohama were rather small, they are rich in umami taste. Oysters grown in Oginohama were large, for they were two years old. You can taste the difference from oysters grown in Sasunohama to ones grown in other fisheries, and so please take this opportunity to try those oysters.

【Oysters are gently char-grilled. 】
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It was just one day before the opening of the oyster grill the fishermen had been looked forward to when a huge earthquake occurred off the coast of Miyagi Prefecture which triggered a tsunami warning and an one-meter-high tsunami was observed at Ayukawahama after 6 p.m. Fortunately, the fishermen said, it wasn't such a large one that could rage through the urban area that there were no reports of great damage except the subsidence of seawalls in Sasunohama below sea level. It was a guess of the fishermen that the foundations of the seawalls had been undermined. As was the case, the fishermen couldn't stop worrying that---quote---"We may not have even a single visitor...", but now the fishermen were relieved.

The oyster grill in Sasunohama will be opened every Sunday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. until December 23. Mr. Hosokawa, the head of the Ishinomaki Fisheries Cooperative's Executive Committee for Oyster grill, said to us "Now is the best time to enjoy oysters, please come over!" In next January, the grill will be opened every Sunday, changing hours, from noon to 2:30 p.m.

【Mr. Hosokawa, the head of Executive Committee for Oyster Grill, is pictured right.】
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In addition, they have a best recommended specialty, Sasunohama burger, which can't be tried anywhere in the country but here. It's excellent with a demi-glace with extra stock of Sasunohama grown oysters simmered down.

【Sasunohama burger, using specially made oyster-sauce-based demi-glace.】
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After many twists and turns, the fishermen were able to have their opening of the oyster grill on this occasion. We were full of emotion as we saw people in Sasunohama fulfilling their hopes and dreams like this through repeated dialogues for about a year. JEN will continue to support people's proactive actions in the region.

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December 27, 2012 in Tohoku Earthquake |