I mentioned in a thread about udon that I would be attending a soba making class.
This proved to be an excellent and very worthwhile experience. I learned about the existence of the school through this clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tDLcgvbzVf0
Contact was made by email and a date and time arranged (10:30am on a Wednesday - the school is closed on Tuesdays)
I was very fortunate to be the only student enrolled for that date and time, even luckier when I discovered that sensei spoke English!
The class begins with a tour around the facilities, I got to inspect and handle (and smell) the soba seeds at every stage of their milling process and note the texture of the flour from each layer of the seed.
Then came the tutorial in making soba using the classic 8 parts soba flour to 2 parts wheat flour ratio.
It's one thing to read about the techniques and implements involved, it's quite another to see and be guided in them. The wide bowl was a joy to use, and it was wonderful to be able to use the long rolling pin and super sharp cutting cleaver and wooden cutting board - this was when I was particularly grateful for the expert tuition and guidance on finger/cats paw techniques.
Not only do you get a master class, but at the conclusion of your lesson, you are led to the beautiful restaurant and your efforts are cooked and prepared expertly for you before being served. The rest of your teuchi soba noodles are boxed for you to take away with you together with some bottled soba sauce.
And all for just 3,150yen - an amazing deal.
I picked up information about soba prior to my class with "The Book of Soba" by James Udesky
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