What is Toshiake Udon?
Have you ever heard of “Toshiake Udon (年明けうどん)”? As for me, I knew about that for the first time today while making some research on Wikipedia Japan.
Toshiake Udon (年明けうどん)
According to the article “年明けうどん” on Japanese Wikipedia, eating Udon noodles at the beginning of the year was first suggested by the Sanuki Udon Promotion Association established in 2008 in Kagawa Prefecture.
Therefore, unlike Toshikoshi Soba, Toshiake Udon, literally New Year’s Udon, isn’t a traditional Japanese new-year-related meal but is a kind of festival food created in order to address the decrease of domestic consumption of Udon noodles.
Nonetheless, since Japan’s largest instant noodles manufacturer, Nissin introduced the pictured product “Donbei Toshiake Udon (どん兵衛 年明けうどん)” last December, I think the New Year’s Udon has been gaining popularity year by year in Japan.
Similar to Toshikoshi Soba, consumers eat the lucky noodle soup Toshiake Udon wishing for a happy life throughout the year.
Lastly, here is the definition of Toshiake Udon by the Sanuki Udon Promotion Association.
- The dates when this New Year’s event is held are from January 1st to January 15th.
- Toshiake Udon is a pure white Udon noodle with at least one piece of red topping that celebrates the beginning of the new year, such as Umeboshi plum or Kamaboko fish cake with a red color.