Yaki kaki (grilled oysters)
One of the things I know I'll deeply miss about Hiroshima some day is the oysters. They are so delicious — and nutritious, so I don't feel guilty eating them. Supposedly the oysters cultivated in Hiroshima are more nutritious than those produced elsewhere.
Hiroshima is actually the leading oyster producer in Japan, cultivating some 30,000 tons per year, and the February/March time-frame is the high point of the oyster season. That means a lot of the little fishing towns along the coast of the Seto Inland Sea have oyster festivals around this time, the biggest one being the Kaki (Oyster) Festival at Miyajima. Joe and I hit it up a few weeks ago hoping to stuff ourselves silly on yaki kaki (hehe...hehehe! Oh how I love Japanese sometimes), but found that at 500 yen for two grilled oysters, they weren't any less expensive than usual.
So I was in for a nice surprise today when Joe and I paid a visit to a little neighborhood market that sells locally grown produce and found a couple guys grilling oysters in front of the store and selling them two for 100 yen. We happily bought a plate, and then one of the guys dished up a couple extra for us, being glad to chat with the neighborhood gaijin, I guess. His generosity paid off for him because we ended up buying a couple bags of the de-shelled oysters to cook up tomorrow for dinner. I left happy as a clam (er... oyster). Try finding that at Kroger!