Kin Town is prefecture’s main producer of taanmu
One of the most famous agricultural produces of Kin Town is taanmu, a kind of taro that is grown only on paddy fields with plenty of fresh water available.
Kin Town has plenty of paddy fields and is thus the right place to grow. Oyama in Ginowan City also used to be a famous producer of taanmu, but because of the spread of urban development and aging and decreasing number of farmers, Kin has taken over Oyama as the principal taanmu grower region.
One edible part of taanmu is the root of the plant. As taanmu grows, many smaller kid taanmu grow attached to the tuber core, and even smaller ones grow from the kids. That is why people on Okinawa regard taanmu as a symbol of fertility. It’s also considered a charm and is served during celebrations and important days such as the New Year.
Taanmu is a close relative of taro, but more glutinous and sweeter. It contains plenty of starch, and is rich in potassium, calcium, iron, vitamin A and C and more. The harvest season is Dec. through Apr. It spoils quickly after picking, so it’s usually steamed before sold at shops.
Taanmu stems called “Muji” are also edible, and usually used in soups. In Kin Town, many restaurants and shops sell taanmu dishes and products. Some of the restaurants are very traditional, but some others are very modern. The point is, when visiting Kin Town, trying taanmu dishes is a must!