Here's to Hokkaido - ANA Airways/Food and Travel
A double-page advertorial for ANA Airways which ran in Food and Travel. The airline had just released a new menu inspired by the cuisine of the Hokkaido region in Japan, and therefore the aim was to get readers interested in this region in general, as well as encouraging them to book their flights with ANA. Get a sense of it from the excerpts below.
'The second-largest island in Japan, Hokkaido, is home to enormous swathes of wilderness. Its indigenous people, the Ainu, believe that all animals are the physical manifestations of gods and that nature is sacred. Spend a few days exploring their homeland and it’s easy to see why.'
'Trees outnumber skyscrapers here. Plains of rippling lavender scent the air around Furano, hot springs steam beside Lake Toya, while the powder on Mount Konbudake (Niseko) is so fine locals call it champagne snow, because it sprays into the air at the merest brush of a ski.'
'Fishermen plunder the mouth of the river, before selling their catch to the many excellent seafood restaurants in Utoro Bay. Sitting on simple wooden benches eating salmon chan chan yaki (baked with miso, yoghurt and wine) while watching sperm whales breaching on the horizon is an experience that is not to be missed.'
'Located at the most northern point of the country, the island’s icy water nourishes seafood so fresh it’s considered the pinnacle of Japanese produce. The muscle tissue of fish and crustaceans is toned by sub-zero temperatures, and is enveloped in an extra layer of fat, giving a succulent texture and intense flavour. And the cornucopia of excellent seafood is further nourished by plankton carried by the Pacific Ocean’s Oyashio Current. Glistening cod, Akkeshi sea urchin, spiny horsehair crabs and chewy Neptune whelks are world class.'
'If your mouth is already watering and you don’t want to wait until arriving in Hokkaido to try its cuisine, the good news is that you don’t have to. Japan’s largest airline ANA (All Nippon Airways) allows your journey of discovery to begin before you’ve arrived thanks to its Tastes of Japan project, in which regional delicacies are served on flights and in lounges.'
'The new dishes are impeccably sourced and provide a tantalising preview of Hokkaido. Pillowy pancakes stuffed with minced adzuki beans from Kamikawa hint at the richness of the island’s agriculture. Yubari melon biscuits nod to the tradition of sending the fruit as a gift. A green salad achieves depth with a dressing made of konbu seaweed from Hakodate, while a seafood platter arrives with a generous portion of sea urchin from Akkeshi.'
'As any seasoned traveller knows, sometimes the journey is as important as the destination. ANA flies daily from Heathrow to Hokkaido (Sapporo) via Tokyo from £827 return. ana.co.uk'