Mmmmm... Tenobe Somen

As previously mentioned Shodoshima has a lot to offer in terms of food. Soy sauce, Japanese olives, Tsukudani and tenobe somen noodles. The tenobe somen industry got its start in here in the late 16th century. These long, fine noodles are made from wheat flour, sesame oil and salt. The wheat flour dough is coated with sesame oil and then stretched as far as it can be by hand (see all those handing noodles up there...). Because the fine noodles can only be stretched during the dry months of winter, tenobe somen has become one of the symbols of the winter season.
It is things like this that I love to incorporate into the patterns. In the background of the Shodoshima pattern you will see (see close up above) the thin stripes representing the tenobe somen noodles. It is things like this that spurned me to start this blog. There are all these little secrets in each pattern that one would not assume were anything more than a mere design element without being told. I can tell you here.
I'm unsure if I've ever had tenobe somen, perhaps at sometime I have, I do eat a good deal of Japanese food. I didn't make it to Super 88 on Friday as hoped. But today on my quick jaunt down to the land of returns at Ikea, I will pass right by it. I'm hoping to stop by and pick up some somen, a few kinds of soy sauce, the mushroom sauce that Xander mentioned and some Japanese olives. Then tonight have a soy sauce tasting party accompanied by sushi, the red sox and some good friends (the kind that indulge me on my little weird research tastings like this) and then report back on the food of Shodoshima!

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Places I Have Never Been is a collection of drawings by Jennifer Hill of JHill Design. The patterns are inspired by her imaginary vacations to far off places. Check out the collection at www.jhilldesign.com