Founded in 1971, Sanpuku Nori uses a unique cultivation system that takes advantage of the Ariake Sea’s extreme tidal gap of up to six meters. Located a short distance from Sanpuku’s processing facility and retail shop, the nori fields comprise an expanse of nets suspended in rows between 1 million poles. Submerged under water at high tide, the plants absorb abundant nutrients, while during ebb tides, they are exposed to sunlight, which stimulates chlorophyll production. The cycle results in nori with concentrated umami and fine mouthfeel.
Secound generation, Tsunehiro Kawahara relies on his five senses and more than 30 years’ experience of working with nori to evaluate the products based on taste, aroma, color and texture. Variations in water temperature, current flows, and mineral content have a significant effect on the quality of the seaweed. Sanpuku works with around 150 growers who cultivate plots in different locations determined by lottery – an allocation system designed to help provide long-term financial stability for the community as a whole.
As with first-flush tea, only the tender, young fronds plucked within the first 10 days of harvest are used for Sanpuku’s signature Hatsuzume Yaki Nori – shiny black sheets of crisp, roasted seaweed perfect for sushi restaurants. For dark green Koumiboshi Nori, the fronds are kept intact after harvesting and then dried before roasting to enhance the fragrance and flaky texture. The seaweed used for Sanpuku’s limited-edition Nama Nori is an early winter delicacy gathered at the peak of freshness, pure and unprocessed, with a surprising crunchy texture and umami intensity. Nama Nori adds an intriguing ocean accent to vegan dishes and is also is delicious dipped in soy-based ponzu sauce as an accompaniment to sake.
Sanpukunori Co., Ltd.
Inuidou 1672, Kawasoe-machi, Saga-shi,
Saga, 840-2212, JAPAN