Today is Shoman, one of the 24 seasonal datum points. It means “grain full” and is when the universe is instinct with life. Leaves and grasses are greener, flowers bloom and animals are active.
It is about the time to gather Sansai or the edible wild plants grown in mountains. One of the most popular Sansai is bracken (Warabi), which is boiled and eaten with soy sauce dressing, or fried as Tempura.
A popular summer dessert “Warabi-mochi” was made from the starch of bracken (Warabi) roots. Warabi-mochi was first made in the 1560s for the tea ceremony and is still often served in the modern tea ceremony in summer because its cool appearance is suitable for the hot season.
The bracken-root starch is very expensive, because it takes a lot of time and care to produce it and only 70 grams (0.15 lbs) of starch can be extracted from 10 kg (22 lbs) of the bracken roots. Therefore, most Warabi-mochi are made from the starch of sweet potatoes, tapioca or arrowroot (Kudzu) as substitute for the bracken-root starch today.
- Mitsuba for the third month (fumiyaen.wordpress.com)