In the summer of 2017, the non-profit organisation SIEN Niigata began selling easily usable dried vegetables, initially as ingredients in Japanese curry. Based on this success, new products were launched, including Echigohime strawberry and Le Lectier pear slices, dried fruits to be eaten on their own or combined with yoghurt, or even as an aperitif with wine or brandy, or as ingredients in bread and cake making.
Good to know: The Le Lectier pear originates from France and has a surprisingly high sugar content, smooth flesh and a mellow aroma. Fruit growers in Niigata Prefecture began cultivating it in the Meiji era (1868-1912) after importing plants from France. It is a valuable variety but is rarely grown in France today because it is susceptible to disease and requires additional ripening, making it difficult to produce. All the more reason for Niigatans to celebrate it and cherish every opportunity to eat it.
About SIEN Niigata
SIEN Niigata is a non-profit organisation that has grown from its initial focus on providing shelter for the homeless to a more holistic view of this project, and is developing other related activities such as renewing family and friendships, offering new encounters, acquiring essential skills such as cooking, as well as helping people find employment. Located in the heart of Niigata city, its two buildings are also registered with the Ministry of Justice as facilities for prisoners. The association organises its programme to help the needy through activity and the consolidation of social links.