Traditional Japanese Vegetables: An Outline of Their Research and Development in New Zealand
J.M. Follett and J.A. Douglas
The 1996 census identified New Zealand as a country with a wide ethnic mix with peoples from Europe, the Pacific Islands, and Asia (Anon 2000). The Asian population, which is approximately 5% of New Zealand's total of just over 4 million, is giving the people as a whole an increasing awareness of Asian cuisine and Japanese food styles in particular. For example in Hamilton, New Zealand's largest inland city of 120,000 people, the number of Japanese restaurants has increased by 80% in the last 10 years. The increase in popularity of Japanese cuisine in New Zealand has resulted in a growing awareness and demand for the produce associated with that food style. At present many of the specialty food items such as wasabi and myoga ginger are imported as a processed product but as demand grows so too does the requirement for fresh rather than processed product.
This has tied in well with Crop & Food Research's new crops programme which has evaluated a range of specialist vegetable
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