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MAKING MITOKU AUTHENTIC JAPANESE PASTA
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Although you simply cannot beat the fresh taste and texture of professionally made te-uchi (hand made) noodles, there are a few small shops in Japan that still make soba and udon in the simple, uncomplicated way that duplicates the hand-made process. If you have tasted Mitoku's traditional Japanese pastas, you have had a hint of that hand-made taste.
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The traditional process used by our producer begins by adding sea salt brine to freshly stone-ground organic flour. The correct salt content is critical for developing the right amount of gluten in the dough and for insurance against rancidity. The dough is thoroughly mixed and kneaded, then allowed to rest to develop the gluten.
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After several hours, the dough is checked for the correct level of stickiness. It is then passed through a series of rollers to form thin, long, continuous sheets. The last roller has a cutter attached, which can be changed to cut the dough into either thin ito (thread) soba and somen or thick, traditional udon or soba noodles. Whether thick or thin, the long strands emerging from the cutter are chopped into six-foot sections and carried to a special drying room.
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Not willing to compromise quality, like generations before him, Mitoku's producer still hangs his noodles over bamboo rods to dry at natural temperatures. Fans are employed in the drying rooms to keep the air circulating. Artificial heat, common in modern processing to speed up the drying process, is not used because it adversely affects quality. From start to finish, the methods used to make our products are based on the way noodles are made at home.
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After drying for at least thirty hours, the noodles are cut into shorter lengths for packaging. The whole process takes about four times as long as the modern process, which can be completed in an eight-hour day.


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