Chitatap: an Ainu fish dish

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Genova, Italy

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July 4th at 11:00 in your time zone

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The Ainu are an indigenous people from the island of Hokkaido in Japan.

They’ve lived there for thousands of years, but were only assimilated into Japanese society as recently as the 19th century. Though there language has almost become extinct, their food culture continues to thrive.

As with all indigenous peoples of the Pacific, fish plays a vital role in Ainu gastronomy and culture. In this video, Ryoko Tahara of the Slow Food Community Ainu Women for the safeguarding of Ainu Food Culture, shows us how to make Chitatap, which literally means “what we chop” in the Ainu language.

Though it can be made using several different fish, today Ryoko demonstrates with salmon, cutting it into smaller and smaller pieces. And nothing goes to waste! The guts can be used in miso soup, while the meat is eaten raw with spring onion or gyoza garlic. “It’s very simple,” as Ryoko explains. “The point is to keep chopping!”

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