#3 Bamboo shoot picking trip
竹 in Japanese, means bamboo. 子 means child.
So 竹の子 literally means child of bamboo, or bamboo shoot in English.
In Japan people eat bamboo shoots.
You can buy them from the supermarket, vegetable store or convenience store.
You can buy it wrapped in plastic, like this.
Or, you can find them yourself.
So, where can you find them?
You can find bamboo shoots in the spring, wherever bamboo is growing.
This bamboo shoot is by a famous temple in Kamakura, Hase Dera.
I don’t think it would be a good idea to eat this bamboo shoot though.
You might get in trouble.
So where can you legally dig them up?
A few weeks ago I was invited to go on a bamboo shoot picking trip.
We drove to Ibaraki. It took a couple of hours to get there.
First we had a delicious lunch.
Then we walked around the bamboo forest trying to find bamboo shoots.
We couldn’t find any for ages… and started to get disappointed.
Then suddenly I saw a huge one!
We carefully dug deeply around it. If you are not careful you will break it off too high up and it will fall apart. They are quite fragile so they break off easily.
The massive bamboo shoot came out intact.
And back at base camp they were stunned by its size.
The second shoot I found was smaller than the first one.
And it didn’t fare so well. It broke off near the top. Ahh well.
After picking most of the shoots were cut and boiled.
They have a kind of poison inside them so you need to boil them first.
After all our hard work, we had some delicious sweets and tea. And then went home.
We took the monster shoot back to my place to cut open.
We boiled it up and spent the next week eating takenoko.
Takenoko rice. Takenoko pasta.
Takenoko on toast.
Takenoko and chips.