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If you cannot view this email, please visit: www.naturalimport.com/January 2008
2008 Volume 2, Issue 1
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Natural Import Company Newsletter
Letter From the Top...
We would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your support this past year, and wish you all the best for 2008.
this issue we are proud to feature our very special Japanese cast iron
cookware. Many of our customers ask, "What makes your cast iron
Our genuine cast-iron is exclusively imported from the
Iwachu Casting Company. "Nambu Tekki" or cast iron ware has been made
by hand in the small town of Morioka in Iwate Prefecture. Morioka is a
famous area known for their 400 year history of skilled casting in the
northern capital city of the Nambu clan. This tradition has been
honored by succeeding generations of Nambu feudal lords and Iwachu
remains the oldest and largest producer of traditional cast iron in
Japan today. Their traditional designs bridge the gap between
present day needs and the grace and simplicity of the past. Fine
Japanese cast iron is both beautiful and practical to use. The cast
iron we offer is of the highest-quality in all the world.
is considered by the Japanese to be the heart of winter and a time when
the body needs warming foods, which when cooked slowly in cast iron
brings strengthening energy and extra needed iron to our body.
Looked after properly, your Japanese Cast-Ironware will last a lifetime.
Happy New Year!
The Fine Art of Japanese Cast Iron
Our high-quality authentic cast iron is made by the Iwachu Company,
located in Morioka Prefecture, Japan. Iwachu is the most well
known and respected manufacturer of traditional Nanbu-style ironware. Today,
craftsmen at Iwachu pay respect to this ancient tradition by creating each
Iwachu product with precision and hand craftsmanship. Iwachu's ironware
has earned a well deserved worldwide reputation for their superior
quality, beauty, and lasting durability.
The production process of making traditional cast iron consists of 64 to 68
steps. At Iwachu, most of this process is still done by hand and
quality is strictly maintained and controlled by a master craftsman
known as a "kamashi". It requires at least 15 years to become a
full-fledged craftsman, and 30-40 years to become a "kamashi."
The Japanese craft of Nambu-tekki (cast
iron) sprang from the middle of the 17th century and remains popular
today. Nambu Tekki, Japanese cast iron has been crafted in the northern
capital city of the Nambu Clan (present day Morioka in Iwate Prefecture)
for over 400 years. Cast Iron is quite famous for cooking various
Japanese winter dishes called Nabemono or "one-pot" cooking. The
superior insulating properties mean that the heat is distributed more
evenly and stays warmer for a much longer period of time than regular
cookware. For this reason, using cast iron to cook at the table for
everyone to share has become an enjoyable practice and a great way
to appreciate not only the ready-made food but the beauty of the
Nambu. The Japanese usher in the New
Year serving winter dishes to their guests using cast iron because it is a
viewed as a status symbol in Japan.
Cast iron is also used for making Tempura, delicious deep-fried
vegetables or seafood. Cast Ironware is also preferred for sautéing and
Japanese cast iron ware is a boon for cooks since it heats evenly,
retains heat well and lasts virtually forever. In addition to the health benefits, one of the main advantages of
using Japanese cast iron is that it is extremely durable. The
versatility of the iron pot or skillet is unrivaled; use it on the
stove top, grill, or in the oven. The fact that you can first use on
the stovetop and then pop the same pot in the oven makes for quick and
Health Benefits of using Cast Iron: Good-Quality
Cast Iron yields important health benefits. Iron-deficient diets are
all too common these days and food or liquid cooked in cast iron ware
provides significant traces of this essential mineral. Just as foods
cooked in aluminum absorb some of the aluminum, foods cooked in cast
iron absorb iron. For example, one 100-gram serving of spaghetti sauce
prepared in cast iron cookware may contain 87.5 milligrams of iron
compared to only 3 milligrams when cooked in a glass vessel. Since iron
is essential for good health, cooking in cast iron can be an easy way
to increase your daily intake of of iron.
Steaming Saké Soak
- Long ago, when saké was entirely handmade a Japanese monk visited a saké
brewery and was astonished to discover all the saké producers had
amazingly youthful, smooth, soft hands and arms. This was due to the brewmasters exposure to the...Read More
Spiced Saké "O-toso"
- Toso or Medicinal Wine is drunk in Japan at the New Year to ensure
health for the coming year and is served in specially decorated
vessels. Every family has their own special recipe for...Read More
A Japanese caster or "kamashi" turns a hand-mill pouring liquid iron into a mold
This Month's Feature:
Iwachu Cast Iron
"Osechi" (New Year's) Tempura
Cast Iron used in making Tempura allows for much more control, and the...read more
Iron Wok Tofu Stir-fry
The secret to fantastic Stir-frying is a Cast-Iron Wok. Cast-Iron provides for even...read more
Skillet Blueberry Upside-down Cake
Melt away your winter blues with this scrumptious warm blueberry...read more
Questions or Comments? Contact us, we'd love to hear from you!
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