“We are deeply grateful for readers in Korea. When we were worried about whether we were going in the right direction, their support for our bread and beer gave us great strength.”
Itaru Watanabe and Mariko Watanabe, a couple who wrote “Baking the Marxism,” came to Korea on Friday. The book is a story about the countryside bakery “Tarumari,” which makes bread without preservatives and only with flour, water, and naturally occurring microbes. The book became a bestseller in Japan and published in Korea in 2014 and were sold more than 60,000 copies. The couple found happiness in a way that is different from others.
In November 2021, their second book “Listening to the Microbes” was published in Korea. On their visit to meet Korean readers, Mr. and Mrs. Watanabe said on Monday in an interview with The Dong-A Ilbo that they are thankful for many customers who came to visit their bakery and that their encounters with visitors from Korea are particularly memorable.
The new book describes their story of settling in a new village after having closed down the bakery and selling homemade beer. While doing the long legwork to find the site for homebrewing workshop, a small countryside village in Chize, Tottori Prefecture that was about to go extinct pitched in, offering a site where there used to be a public nursing home. Mr. Watanabe said that they found a place to make homebrewing beer and bread, and the local economy of the village was revived, creating a virtuous cycle.
Mr. and Mrs. Watanabe highlighted that their objective is not to “make profits.” To ferment beer, they use lactobacilli us, which is not favored ingredient by the existing beer industry, Beer is brewed for more than half a year in wooden barrels. During the aging period, they cannot sell beer and it is thus unprofitable; yet, the couple chose quality over money. “The world needs foods made with care, albeit slow and inefficient,” Mrs. Watanabe said.
“Our ways take a long time. We seek a mutual coexistence with the local community without damaging nature,” Mrs. Watanabe said. “This is possible thanks to those who support us and our way of making beer and bread."