shin = new
mono = thing, object, etc.
Shinmono refers to a new crop or catch of a certain food in season such as fish, seafood, fruit, and vegetable.
The term is almost interchangeable with hatsumono (hatsu = first). One site says that shinmono can be used to refer to a processed food, while hatsumono is restricted to fish, seafood, fruit, and vegetable.
Note: The kanji for shinmono (new and thing) can also be read aramono. I'm not sure which sounds more proper.
Today, I got these two shinmono:
Boiled firefly squid from Hyogo
Fresh wakame from Sanriku
How interesting to see the difference between "shin mono" and "hatsu mono". I can see the difference in the first kanji which are read as "xin" and "chu" respectively in Chinese. Somehow "chu"/"hatsu" has a more organic, old fashioned feeling about it so I can understand why it might be used more for unprocessed food.
I love reading your blog because of these interesting facts!
What a funny cute squid! I have never seen anything similar and I would love to have a couple of these (I'm crazy for squid!). You always make me discover new products and even animals! (not to mention dishes).
Never heard about those squids before and googled a bit - very interesting little creatures. They glow in the dark but I guess not after they had been cooked. I love to eat fried mini squids (calmari, seppioline), but it is quite a hassle to clean and prepare them.
I didn't expect to get three comments for such a casual post!
Yangsze: There is more to shinmono, aramono, hatsumono, and hinemono (ひねもの, 古物). I will post about them when I feel confident. Japanese is really tricky even for native Japanese!
Sissi: Firefly squid is in season until April or mid-May, so you have to time your visit to Japan to savor the flavor of the squid.
Kiki: You are right. They no longer glow when dead. In Japan, boiled firefly squid is simply eaten in the sashimi style (often with su miso).
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