先進国の中でも、肥満度がもっとも低い国として知られている日本。（OECD 発表の「Helth Data 2012」より）
こう呼ばれる海藻は日本全国にあり、地方によって呼び方が異なります。 ここで言う「あおさ」は、和名「ヒトエグサ」という食用の海藻のこと。 一般的に販売されている「海苔の佃煮」の原料になる食材と言えばわかりやすいでしょうか。
Aosa: a type of seaweed that has contributed significantly to the longevity and health of the Japanese people
Japan is known as the nation with the lowest rate of obesity among all the advanced industrialized nations (according to the OECD’s “Health Data 2012”).
One of the secrets behind the slimness of the Japanese people is the fact that they eat a much larger quantity of seaweed food products than people in most other countries.
Seaweed is eaten in a number of countries including China, South Korea and Scandinavia, but there is nowhere that such a large variety of food products based on seaweed are consumed on a regular basis as in Japan.
Seaweed is a nutritious food. It is sometimes referred to as a “vegetable from the sea”. The calorie and dietary fiber content make it an exceptional ingredient in any diet.
What sort of seaweed is this Aosa, which has been eaten since ancient times in Japan?
Known as aosa or sometimes as aosa-nori, this is a type of seaweed that has been familiar to Japanese people since the earliest times.
It can be found all over Japan, and its name differs from one region to the next. The aosa with which we are concerned here is an edible seaweed known according to its official scientific classification in Japanese as hitoegusa and in Latin as Monostroma nitidum. It’s familiar in Japan especially as the raw material used in the production of seaweed boiled down in soy sauce, in which form it bears the name nori no tsukudani, a product which can be found in any Japanese food shop.
Cultivation of aosa at Shima in Mie Prefecture
Around 60 percent of all the aosa produced in Japan for food purposes originates in Mie Prefecture, which is located over 308 kilometers west of Tokyo and is famed especially for its beautiful natural environment.
Seaweed has been eaten on a daily basis since ancient times in Mie Prefecture, which faces out onto a richly endowed sea area.
Mie Prefecture has an environment ideally suited to the cultivation of aosa, in particular the ria coast that is the source of the beautiful natural environment at Iseshima.
Aosa, with its delicate body, is unable to grow in rough waters, and it’s precisely these coastal inlets (ria) with their gentle currents that provide it with the ideal setting for growth.