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A gift from God called paaterazeri

The watercress which grows by Imatomi river is good for making both goma-ae and tempura

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By the river which runs through Imatomi village, watercress which was introduced from Europe grows wild. Watercress is usually used as a condiment to garnish meat and salad dishes, but people living in Imatomi village often eat it as a side dish, using it to make goma-ae (a Japanese side dish dressed with sesame) and miso soup. They also have special name for it: paaterazeri. “Paatera” means “priest” (cf. the Latin word “pater”) and “zeri” refers to a particular type of indigenous wild herb. It acquired this name because it was a Catholic priest from abroad who first introduced watercress to the region (where it soon became a popular ingredient). Today, it still springs up energetically in the clear streams of Imatomi river. "From spring until the beginning of summer, we can harvest lots of watercress. It is also tasty when made as tempura". Goma-ae made using this watercress has a crisp consistency, and the tempura made using it gives off a fresh smell. Perhaps the people living in this area believe that the watercress is a gift from God.