Dishes made with shiitake mushrooms from southwestern Japan's Oita Prefecture were served at the food-themed world exposition in Milan on Tuesday, with visitors sampling the local specialty and learning how the mushrooms are produced.
In an event at the Japan Pavilion, promoters explained how to prepare stock from shitake mushrooms and store the dried fungus. They also offered shiitake sauteed in butter and a sushi dish using the mushrooms.
The event was part of a five-day program at the pavilion to introduce traditional farming methods and food culture from Shizuoka, Ishikawa, Kumamoto, Oita and Niigata prefectures, which host areas designated by the Food and Agriculture Organization as Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems.
Under an initiative begun in 2002, the FAO of the United Nations aims to identify and ensure global recognition of the importance of unique traditional agricultural systems for food security and sustainable development.
Oita Gov. Katsusada Hirose said, "Oita is not only famous for its hot springs, said to be the best in Japan, but also for its dishes of fish and meat. I would like to promote (Oita) to Europe and the rest of the world through the expo."
Also at the event, Oita craftsmen made bamboo ware to introduce the traditional craftwork from the city of Beppu.