The cultivation of “Soba” or buckwheat in Japan started in Jomon period (about 10,000 BC - 300 BC). The first literature which describes “Soba” is “Shoku Nihon-gi” in Nara period (710-794). At first, people ate unground Soba just like rice. Even after milling technique enabled us to make Soba-ko (soba flour), people had “Sobagaki”, or buckwheat kneaded with (hot) water, for a long time. The noodle form was born in Edo period (1603-1867). It was called “Soba-kiri”. Various twists were added to “Siba-kiri” and it became so popular that it still remains.
Some people believe that Soba should be black and white one is mixture of something. It may be true if we are living in the time when we can grind only with millstone. Now is the time, however, that both guest and cook can choose between white flour and black one, as we can select the flour type by demand-stage. Black flour is strongly scented with rustic flavor. It is often used for Futo-uchi Soba (thick soba noodles) such as Inaka-soba. White Soba, on the other hand, has a clean finish and a delicate taste. It is used for Hoso-uchi Soba (thin soba noodles).
“Soba-yu” is the hot water that boiled soba noodle. It is often served in a pot called “Yutoh”. Why do we serve the hot water that boiled soba noodle to our guests? Soba has balanced nutritional ingredients including good protein more than other grains and beans. It is also high in vitamin B. The most famous effect of Soba is rutin (vitamin P). Rutin is one kind of polyphenol which builds blood vessel strength to decrease blood pressure and presents an effective role against arteriosclerosis. As you can see, Soba contains a lot of healthy components, most of which are hydrosoluble. This means they melt into water while boiling. Soba-yu helps you to take all the nutrition. Some dilute Tsuyu (dipping sauce) with Soba-yu to drink. Others drink it straight just like tea after their meal. Tagoto recommends Soba-yu for your health and favorite pastime.