Okinawa Souvenirs you can Eat: Taste Miyakojima
31 August 2015
Miyakojima Awamori
Anyone who takes a trip to Miyakojima, an island in southern Okinawa, can’t help but remember the breathtaking sights and sounds, not to mention the wonderful food. But while pictures can fade and sounds can become faint echoes, we can bring the tastes of our travels with us wherever we go; we just need that one small reminder, the perfect ingredient, to bring our culinary journeys to life once again. 

Let us explore the plethora of flavorful Okinawa souvenirs available in Miyakojima, which is rich in the blessings of nature and sea, from delectable local snacks to special tropical fruits and heavenly libations that you simply can’t get outside of Okinawa.
 
Yukisio Sea Salt and Salt Snacks

Yukisio Sea Salt and Salt Snacks

Ocean salt does more than keep you afloat as you glide through the water; if cultivated correctly, it may also be good for your health. Because sea salt goes through less processing than ordinary table salt, it contains more essential natural minerals such as potassium, iron, zinc, magnesium, iodine and calcium. It also may aid in electrolyte balance (which helps lower heart rate and blood pressure, for example) and even has been said to help prevent dehydration in small amounts. Whatever the potential health benefits, one thing is certain: Sea salt also tends to have distinct flavors and colors that vary depending on where and how it has been created.

The creators of Yukisio salt, which is composed of condensed minerals from the sparkling ocean surrounding Miyakojima, have truly made their mark by crafting a silky smooth salt that is moist rather than dry, soft rather than grainy, and powdered to perfection—hence its name, which literally means “snow salt.” While we don’t claim that the salt actually fell from the heavens like its namesake, critics agree that it’s divine—yukisio salt has been given a prestigious Monde Selection award for quality.  There is a lineup starting from a 60g mini size, making it ideal as a little souvenir that boasts a big taste. This boldness means that you only need a pinch of the exotic to make your favorite recipes taste great.

Various salt snacks are popular, too, and Yukisio-flavored cider, and Yukisio lusk and even a version of Okinawa’s famous ‘chinsko’ desert biscuit with the sea salt baked right in, each refreshingly convey the unique flavor of Miyakojima.
 
Miyakojima Keats Mango

Okinawa Mango Parade: MiyakojimaVarieties

While Okinawa mango varieties are generally well-known, those grown in Miyakojima are by far the most famous. The refreshingly sweet flavor of the apple mango, an island staple, is very balanced. The Keats mango is an especially precious fruit that is only harvested during a short period in August. The time and effort spent carefully cultivating these living gems inside bags until they are ripe on the tree shows in their surprising tongue-tickling taste. Almost as popular as the mangoes themselves is mango soft serve ice cream, which remains a must-have summer treat for Okinawa locals and tourists alike.
 
Taragawa brewery

Okinawa Beer Meets Miyakojima Local Flavor

If you crave a bit of Okinawa beer to quench your thirst after a salty snack, have no fear: There are local beer breweries in Miyakojima that will more than satisfy your longing. In keeping with the island atmosphere, the standard "Turiba" series has a wonderful name that means "a calm and laid-back place" in the Miyakojima dialect. "Coral ale" and "coral wheat beer", which are part of a flavor series rich in the aroma of tropical fruit and spices typical to southern Okinawa, are good local beers that are well received by those who appreciate authentic brews. Also, when speaking of Okinawa sake, those in the know can’t help but think of awamori, a distilled rice liquor known for being very strong. In Miyakojima there are seven breweries producing awamori, each overflowing with refreshing originality.

One of the breweries, called Taragawa, creates an awamori brew as clear as rain. When rain falls, it is absorbed through three layers of island rock before emerging below ground level, now even cleaner than before. This strained and purified water is especially well suited for awamori. This natural process, coupled with painstaking traditional distillation techniques, combine to create a distinctive flavor truly as unique as the island itself. This is just one of many Miyakojima brews that are a hit among discerning fans of awamori, any one of them perfect as Okinawa souvenirs. Why not try a glass of awamori, Miyakojima style?
 
Yukisio, mango, local Okinawa beer, and awamori are all specialty goods of Miyakojima, brought to you by the elegant intertwining of natural processes and time-honored traditions. If you choose to visit Miyakojima, we hope that you share some is these gems with friends and family—thus ensuring that your trip is more than just a memory.
 

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