Photographer's Note

Most probably my last photo of the Autumn Festival in my friend Yoshi's home town. Here we see two gentlemen enthusiastically making soba.

"Soba noodles are native Japanese noodles made of buckwheat flour (soba-ko) and wheat flour (komugi-ko). They are roughly as thick as spaghetti, and prepared in various hot and cold dishes. The most basic soba dish is zaru soba in which boiled, cold soba noodles are eaten with a soya based dipping sauce (tsuyu).

Like pasta, soba noodles are available in dried form in supermarkets, but they taste best if freshly made by hand from flour and water. Soba making has also become a popular tourist attraction for domestic and international travelers. The activity is offered by many community centers and travel tour companies. Below you will find a description of the soba making process.

1st step: Mixing the flour

The first step, mixing the flour with water into a dough, is considered the most important and difficult part of making soba noodles. The correct amount of water is added step by step to the flour and mixed for several minutes until the flour becomes moist enough to be formed into a dough. The dough is then pressed until it becomes very smooth and contains no more air.

2nd step: Rolling the dough

The dough is then rolled into a thin square by repeatedly rolling it around a wooden rolling stick.

3rd step: Cutting the dough

At last, the dough is folded and cut into the noodles.

Footnote: Note the face masks.The Japanese are extremely finicky about hygiene, even providing slippers for guests when one needs to use a toilet in someone's house. These slippers face the user(who has already left his shoes outside the main door of the house) in such a way that one just slips into them without the need to rotate them. When leaving the toilet one ensures that the slippers are left with the opening facing the next user.These slippers are not to leave the bathroom.
Yet paradoxically in public toilets I have seldom found a soap dispenser.

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Additional Photos by Klaudio Branko Dadich (daddo) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3578 W: 114 N: 6362] (28728)
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