UMAMI MART MATSURI FESTIVAL

Event Recap: Kayoko's Cherry Blossom Cobbler Birthday Festival 3000

Last Thursday, we celebrated a momentous occasion – Kayoko's 36th birthday! Collaborating with our friends at Holy Mountain, we threw a party that we dubbed Kayoko's Cherry Blossom Cobbler Birthday Festival 3000. If you've never been to Holy Mountain, you're missing out. Perched above Hawker Fare's San Francisco location on Valencia Street, it's exactly...

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The Ubiquitous Kamenoko Tawashi Has a Fascinating Backstory

The Kamenoko Tawashi is one of the most ubiquitous household cleaning tools in Japan. Invented in 1907, these durable handmade scrub brushes are used to clean pots and pans, kitchen sinks, bathtubs, floors, dirty boots, and anything else that can use a heavy-duty scrubbing. Aside from its functionality, this iconic Japanese scrubber has...

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The Umami Reader: Kewpie Mayo Dependency is Real

- Writer Kevin Pang examines his Kewpie mayo dependency with an excellent piece on the addictive Japanese condiment. The article explores Kewpie's history, breaks down its ingredients and why it tastes so good on everything and anything, and has news of an U.S.-produced version coming soon (which, predictably, will not contain MSG). (A.V. Club; via John Lombardo; photo of...

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The Umami Reader: Watch This Dog Help Prepare Thanksgiving Dinner

- Ever wish your dog could help out around the house? Well, here's a video showing you how to get your pooch to help you prepare your Thanksgiving dinner! (Joseph's Machines) - Thanksgiving is my favorite food holiday because I will forever associate it with the huge annual feast my Korean-American family would throw....

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The Umami Reader: A BART Station That Smells Like Chocolate Chip Cookies

- A friend recently posted on Facebook, "Anyone else wonder why the Millbrae BART station always smells like chocolate chip cookies baking? Not that I'm complaining ..." It's true, you really can't complain when you smell something good on BART. Apparently, my friend is not the only one who's asked that...

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The Umami Reader: Anthony Bourdain Loves Popeye's Mac and Cheese

- This week, Anthony Bourdain appeared on Reddit for an AMA (Ask Me Anything), where he revealed his deep love of Popeye's mac and cheese. "I have an unholy and guilty attraction to fast-food macaroni and cheese. During the morning I get these horrendous cravings for Popeye's mac and cheese, and, uh, I...

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The Umami Reader: David Bowie's 1980 Sake Commercial Is Creepy and Awesome

- Here's one from the archives: Did you know David Bowie appeared in a Japanese sake commercial in 1980. The ad was for Crystal Jun Rock shochu and featured a snippet of his haunting instrumental synth track, "Crystal Japan" and some intense eye contact from the Space Oddity. Oh David...

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8 Delicious Ways to Enjoy Landsea Gomasio

Gomashio is a Japanese seasoning, traditionally consisting of toasted sesame seeds (goma) and salt (shio). At Umami Mart, we carry Landsea Gomasio, a Pacific Northwestern take on gomashio. Made in Eastsound, Washington by our friend Brooke Budner, Landsea Gomasio uses replaces salt with two ingredients found regionally and abundantly in Orcas Island: bull kelp,...

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Conbini Creations: Japanese-style Corn on the Cob

Some say if corn is perfectly ripe, you don't really need to add anything – even butter – to it. But who are we kidding? I will rarely pass on butter when it comes to corn on the cob. Unless we're talking elote. The Mexican-style corn, a street food favorite, is made by slathering mayonnaise or crema (a Mexican version of...

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Conbini Creations: Sweet and Spicy Miso-Tobanjan Chicken Wings

For this month's Conbini Creations, I wanted to make a recipe using the Youki Shisen Tobanjan, a spicy Sichuan-style chili paste that we carry at Umami Mart. Made with chili peppers and fermented broad beans, tobanjan is often used in mapo tofu recipes, or simply added into noodle soups to add a healthy, warming...

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Eat This Now: Curry Ramen at Muracci's

Berkeley – home of cheap eats and cuisines from all over the world. As I've said before, I usually avoid the area within a close radius of the UC Berkeley campus, but sometimes you just have to bite the bullet and brave the sea of hungry Cal students to get a taste of goodness. So...

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Meet SF's New Michelin-Star Winning Japanese Restaurants

[caption id="attachment_27672" align="alignnone" width="640"] Photo via Ju-Ni[/caption] This week, The Michelin Guide released its much-anticipated list of awardees of its coveted stars. As of this year, the Bay Area has six three-star (the highest grade) restaurants and a total of 55 starred restaurants across the region. Three new one star-winners are notable to...

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The Umami Reader: No, Pho Is NOT the "New Ramen"

- This week the Internet got really mad at Bon Appetit and a chef named Tyler Akin, a non-Vietnamese chef in Philly who serves Vietnamese food at his restaurant, Stock. The reason for the furor? In a video by Bon Appetit and accompanying article (socialized online as "PSA: This Is How...

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The Umami Reader: Pork Bun vs. Typhoon. Pork Bun ALWAYS WINS

- A 53-year-old Taiwanese woman won the hearts of food lovers around the world this week when she decided, "Typhoon and broken umbrella, be damned – I'm eating this pork bun!" Associated Press photographer Chiang Ying-ying captured the woman, a fruit stand owner, eating her pork bun in the midst of Typhoon Megi, a...

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The Umami Reader: This Bong Menorah Guarantees 8 Nights of Hanukkah Munchies

- You're going to have some intense munchies this Hanukkah should you partake in rips from this glass bong Menorah. The Gravs Lab Menorah features eight smaller stems and one large stem that you can light and hit all at once. To quote a commentor on Facebook, "Mazel cough!" (Forward) - If you've spent...

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