Healthier Valentine's Treat

Good morning everyone,

Today's weather is looking just'll get up to around 10C and be mostly cloudy all day. In fact, you could use that description for pretty much the whole week. The weather won't be too bad, but nothing to write home about. That's fine by me, as long as I'm not riding my bike to work in the snow, I'm happy.

So Valentine's Day is almost upon us. If you're tired of giving chocolates to your significant other, these udon noodles filled with a lot of “heart” may be the perfect treat this Valentine’s Day.

Typically, Valentine’s Day in Japan involves gifts of chocolates or other sweets usually presented from girls to boys. But if your sweetheart isn’t fond of sweets, these unique udon noodles from specialty udon shop Osawaya, named Love Kitsune, may offer a tasty alternative.

love kitsune

As we all know, udon is thick noodles made from wheat flour, usually served in a hot, flavorful soup stock. And what makes these noodles a special Valentine’s item? The huge heart-shaped “aburaage” topping, of course.

“Aburaage” is a thin sheet of fried tofu, which turns quite yummy when it soaks up the noodle soup. In Japanese folklore, “aburaage” is thought to be a favorite food of the fox (“kitsune”), which is the reason why noodles containing “aburaage” are known as “kitusune udon”, and hence the product’s sweet name, Love Kitsune.

Each heart-shaped aburaage used in the Love Kitsune is prepared and fried by hand, and it also comes with an additional small pink piece of udon also in a heart shape, and yes, the pink heart is edible too! How cute is that?

Since the udon is from Osawaya, an established udon restaurant based in Mizusawa, an area of Gunma Prefecture with a 400-year tradition of producing quality udon, it should be not only pretty to look at but something you can also seriously savor. Their noodles are described on Osawaya’s site as being firm and smooth, and they use primarily bonito and konbu seaweed for their soup stock. Perhaps it’s not surprising that they sold 10,000 packages of these udon last year.

The Love Kitsune udon, which can be purchased through their online shop for a limited time during Valentine’s season, comes in a package like the one shown here, including the noodles, broth, and the two heart-shaped toppings.

The package above contains two servings for Y1,460, but there are also packages of various sizes available on the site. I don't know why's way too sad and lonely to order one and buying it for more than one person is just...well, wrong...ha ha!

I never thought I’d be using the word cute to describe noodles, but what can I say? These udon are darn cute. And with the weather still bitterly cold, a hot bowl of noodles just might be the perfect way to keep your loved one warm and happy. Here’s hoping your Valentine’s Day is as full of warmth as a steaming bowl of udon.

Have a great day!

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