In February, peak season for Tosa Buntan, so naturally workers in Tosa, the city with the highest rate of Buntan production, begin their work early in the morning.
“Tosa Buntan” is a type of Buntan or Pomelo which is produced in Tosa, Kochi prefecture. While there are various other kinds of Buntan produced all over Japan, what sets Tosa Buntan aside from other types of Buntan is certainly its firm texture, balance between the refreshing sweetness and sour taste, and 12 cm radius.
At JA Kochi Prefectural Hewa Collection and Shipment Center, Tosa Buntan are divided by size and the amount of sweetness using an automatic sensor. Later, the Butan are meticulously hand-picked and packaged by workers to ensure further quality control.
This year’s Tosa Buntan are even sweeter due to cultivation method used to lesson the sourness. Before packaging, Tosa Buntan that were harvested from December of last year to earlier this year are put in a fenced area, covered in straw and allowed to ripen.
Due to the cold wave last year, there were not enough flowers for pollination, resulting in the supply of Tosa Buntan being 2 to 3 times less than what it was last year.
The Vice Chairman of JA Kochi Prefectural Hewa Collection and Shipment Center says of this year’s Tosa Buntan: “We were able to produce sweeter Tosa Buntan this year, so we would like many people to try it out.”