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Bringing Enjoyable Sanuki Udon to People Around the World!
Sanuki Udon is a specialty from Kagawa Prefecture, Japan, which is known as the prefecture of udon. Sanuki Udon has a character of thick wheat noodles, known for its smooth texture and rich flavor. Whether served hot in a savory soy-based broth or chilled with a dipping sauce, this beloved dish has gained popularity worldwide.
On May 12, 2023 (Friday), a press conference was held at the coast of Mure-cho, Kagawa Prefecture, announcing the upcoming opening of “by Age 18,” a new vegan and gluten-free Sanuki udon restaurant in the prefecture in December 2023.
The project is led by Jinseiwajoujouda, a design company based in Takamatsu City, which aims to develop and create a “New Sanuki Udon” that can be enjoyed by individuals who, for religious or allergy-related reasons, have been unable to consume it before.
The inspiration behind this initiative stemmed from the severe dairy allergy of Mr. Murakami, the company’s president’s eldest son. As Mr. Murakami delved deeper into understanding various dietary rules prompted by allergies, he discovered that worldwide, there is a significant number of individuals, such as Muslims who abstain from consuming pork or alcohol, vegetarians/vegans who avoid animal-derived ingredients, and those following a gluten-free diet due to health or medical reasons.
Recognizing the vast population affected by these dietary restrictions, he realized that having the freedom to eat anything is not a given for everyone.
Taking note of Sanuki udon, a beloved local dish in Kagawa, the team acknowledged that it contained ingredients like mirin which is unsuitable for consumption by Muslims, katsuobushi (bonito flakes) causing dietary restrictions for vegetarians/vegans, and wheat posing challenges for the gluten-free.
Hence, driven by the desire to create a space where people from all around the world can gather around the same table and enjoy delicious Sanuki udon, they decided to open this udon restaurant.
The menu will be supervised by Mr. Kumamoto of Saido Tokyo, the world’s vegetarian/vegan restaurant search site, Happy Cow, and desserts will be overseen by Mr. Shibano, the world’s number one gelato artisan of Malga Gelato.
Mr. Kumamoto expressed, “Even if a meal caters to various dietary needs if those who regularly consume meat and fish find it ‘not delicious,’ then it loses its significance. I believe in pursuing the quality that allows everyone to share the experience of ‘delicious’ while sitting together at the same table. Let’s explore the potential of this new Sanuki udon.”
The restaurant’s name, “by age 18,” was chosen by copywriter Ms. Iwasaki. It embodies the desire to create a place that overturns preconceived notions about Sanuki udon, inspired by Albert Einstein’s quote, “Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age 18.”
The location is planned to be 103-10 Omachi, Mure-cho, Takamatsu City, Kagawa Prefecture.
Furthermore, to ensure gluten-free compliance and prevent contamination, crowdfunding for the establishment of a new udon factory is also planned.