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All About "Toyomitsuhime" Figs!

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5:34
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Fruits

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Fukuoka Prefecture has the second largest fig-growing area in Japan! Take a look and see how their original "Toyomitsuhime" Figs are grown, sorted, and shipped and learn about their delicious appeal via tours and interviews throughout the production chain!

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Fukuoka Prefecture boasts the second largest fig-growing area in Japan.
In 2006, the prefecture applied for and was awarded a new variety of figs by the the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries: "Toyomitsuhime" Figs
Allow me to introduce these "Toyomitsuhime" Figs to you.

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We visited one of the numerous fig-growing areas in Fukuoka, Asakura City.
Asakura City has been cultivating "Toyomitsuhime" Figus for 12 years; since 2007.
We were lucky enough to be given the opportunity to tour one of these "Toyomitsuhime" Figs growing areas.

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We're going to ask Mr. Uchida, a "Toyomitsuhime" Fig grower, some questions.
Thanks for agreeing to help us learn about these figs.
What is the origin of the "Toyomitsuhime" name?
"Toyomitsuhime" has three parts, and therefore, three origins.
"Toyo", "Mitsu", and "Hime".
"Toyo" comes from the character "豊", which is the first part of the name of the city (Buzen) which serves as an agricultural test site.
The character can be read as "Bu" or "Toyo"; we decided to go with "Toyo".
"Mitsu" was used because of how sweet it is and how it seems to melt in your mouth.
"Mitsu" is a word related to honey and molasses.
"Hime" comes from the oval shape and reddish-violet color, which is extremeley cute ("hime" means princess).
Put those together and you get "Toyomitsuhime".
Wow, ok now I see.
"Toyomitsuhime", that's adorable!
Such a perfect name.
So how are "Toyomitsuhime" Figs different from their counterparts.
The biggest difference is in the sweetness. These are a level 17 in sugar content.
The other varieties of fig are around level 15.
This is their main draw.
"Toyomitsuhime" Figs are also really meaty.
The skin is also really thin and when you put it into your mouth it feels as if it's melting.
That's another main draw.
I'd really love to try some.
Let's see what we can do.

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I got one!
Just like this?
It's so pretty! Look at this vivid shade of red.
Is it ok to eat it with the skin?
I'm going to go for it.
It's so sweet and tasty.
I told you right!?
The effort of all of the fig-growers have made their way into the figs.
Thank you.
It's so good.
After you pick the "Toyomitsuhime" Figs, where do you take them?
After this they are taken to the fruit sorting location.
There, with a little time and effort, the figs are separated, packed, loaded onto trucks, and shipped off.
"A little time and effort", I wonder what that entails…

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So I decided to come to the sorting location to find out!
Our guide is Mr. Eto, from JA Chikuzen Asakura.
Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule.
This is where all the "Toyomitsuhime" Figs from all the farmers are sent to be specially sorted.
The season for "Toyomitsuhime" Figs from open cultivation is August to November.
If you include the ones grown in greenhouses the season starts in May.
That's a pretty long time to be able to purchase these figs.
We heard from Mr. Uchida that there's a little special something that goes into these figs.
What did he mean by that?
Upon shipment, we pass the "Toyomitsuhime" Figs through a Light Sterilization Device.
The fruit's skin is sterilized by the exposure to infrared and ultraviolet light.
We also utilize a cold chain, which allows us to keep the figs stored below 15 degrees celsius from cultivation to collection, all the way to the store shelves.
I see! There's so much going on here from collection to shipment.
You keep it fresh so that even far-away consumers can enjoy delicious "Toyomitsuhime" Figs.
Exactly!

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You can purchase "Toyomitsuhime" Figs anywhere from Asakura City's Farm Station Basaro to the farmers' market near the famous triple water wheels.
There are other popular products for sale like jam that uses "Toyomitsuhime" Figs.
"Toyomitsuhime" Figs aren't only for dessert; they can also be used in salads.
When you eat them at home, try to find different ways to use this versatile fruit.

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Fukuoka Prefecture has given "Toyomitsuhime" Figs their gold stamp of approval.
Give these sweet and delicious "Toyomitsuhime" Figs a try for yourself.