The Difference : Inaka Soba vs Sarashina Soba Noodles

As you know, Soba, or Nihon Soba is the buckwheat noodle that originated in Japan, and it is said that the origin dates back to more than 1,000 years ago.

Therefore, today there are many variations and brands of buckwheat Soba noodles in Japan, including these, and based on the color and the thickness, Nihon Soba is roughly divided into 2 types.

Inaka Soba, Sarashina Soba, and Nami Soba

The 2 types of buckwheat Soba noodles are “Inaka Soba (田舎そば)” and “Sarashina Soba (更科そば)”, which have contrasting colors: black and white.

Inaka Soba (田舎そば)

Inaka Soba buckwheat noodles

“Inaka Soba (田舎そば)”, also known as “Yamaga Soba (山家そば)”, are buckwheat noodles characterized by their blackish color and are somewhat thick in diameter compared to Sarashina Soba.

The Inaka Soba noodles are made from the coarse flour made by milling buckwheat berries with the hull and contain no thickener “Tsunagi (つなぎ), so the buckwheat noodle has a strong aroma of buckwheat.

From these features, it is said that Inaka Soba is a rustic buckwheat noodle.

Sarashina Soba (更科そば)

Sarashina Soba buckwheat noodles

In contrast, “Sarashina Soba (更科そば)”, also known as “Gozen Soba (御膳蕎麦)”, are fine white buckwheat Soba noodles that are made from the center part of buckwheat berries, that is, the endosperm.

The Sarashina Soba noodle is superior in quality and is characterized by its delicate aroma and sweetness of buckwheat in addition to the pleasant feeling to the throat when swallowing.

Nami Soba (並そば) 

By the way, “Nami Soba (並そば)” is the most common buckwheat Soba noodle with the intermediate quality between Inaka Soba and Sarashina Soba.

If there isn’t a note in the menu, the Soba noodle is thought to be a Nami Soba.

(Reference pages of this article : そばの散歩道, そばのおびなた)


Hi, I'm Tomo, a Japanese blogger living in Niigata Prefecture, Japan. I want to introduce things about Japan on this blog, especially unique Japanese products, cooking recipes, cultures and trivia.

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