FUKUYA mentaiko actually has its roots in Korea.
FUKUYA’s founder, Toshio Kawahara fondly remembered the taste of the cod roe kimchi he ate during his childhood in Korea. He succeeded in crafting a novel, never-before-tasted dish called, mentaiko after repeatedly refining the flavor and selection of seasonings through a process of trial and error in order to make a culinary creation agreeable to the Japanese palate.
Toshio introduced mentaiko to the Japanese for the first time in 1949 at his grocery store, located in a corner of Hakata. He eagerly shared the recipe with others, and even after word of the product began spreading across Japan, Toshio continued to experiment for over 10 years to perfect the flavor until he was satisfied.
For more than 60 years, FUKUYA’s passion for, and approach toward, making mentaiko have remained constant. People’s tastes change with the times, and FUKUYA has always upheld the precept of its founder to “make mentaiko that suit the times and our customers’ palates.” FUKUYA has striven to create new flavor experiences in pursuit of culinary perfection while modifying product elements, including salt content and spiciness, in order to meet consumer preferences.
We never market our mentaiko wholesale because we believe that meeting our customers face-to-face is important, and those encounters can lead to the creation of ideas for new flavors.
It is our wish that mentaiko will find a place at the dinner table every day, so our goal is to offer good quality at low cost. FUKUYA is able to achieve high quality and low prices by avoiding wholesale marketing and selling directly to our customers.
Good food and good times in every generation—though preferences may change, our aim is to create a flavor derived from connecting with people on a personal level. It is precisely because the times change that our approach remains constant. No matter the era, the delicious delicacy that creates a passion for ingredients and taste still brings people together. That is the heart and soul of FUKUYA mentaiko.
While our company has remained true to the original flavor, we continue to aspire to create superb taste appropriate to the times in our never-ending quest to bring delicious flavor to dinner tables throughout Japan.
The creed of our company founder based on a passion for producing a tasty product has become our company’s philosophy, and has been faithfully passed on through the years. We are committed to improving our service both through store and online sales, and by communicating with our customers.
We are grateful for the support and encouragement our many customers give us with their smiling faces, and will continue to strive wholeheartedly to create an even richer culture of cuisine.