FUKUI – Fukui Prefecture has been No. 1 in per-household expenditures for deep-fried bean curd and similar products for nearly half a century. Now it is looking to expand sales of such products outside its borders.
Households in the city of Fukui each paid ¥4,536 for fried tofu products in 2012, the most in 49 consecutive years and nearly twice the national average of ¥2,465, its food products processing research institute said, quoting data from the internal affairs ministry data on household expenses.
But the industry is beginning to worry about a lack of successors — as well as rising costs for ingredients, including beans and oil — as it looks for new ways.
To expand sales in Fukui, companies are improving products for metropolitan consumers who tend to fry the bean curds rather than boil them, which is more popular with Fukui residents.
Starting next year, the prefecture also plans to sell tofu and deep-fried bean curd made from a new type of bean that will be labeled as a new brand.
“The taste of the products vary by region even within the prefecture,” said Yukari Tanaka, an official at the prefecture’s agricultural testing center. “I hope tourists will visit here to taste the difference.”