「Taisho, these are… 」
「Yeah, these are soybeans . 」
In the kitchen at night, Taisho bit on a bean before returning it to the water, satisfied . Soybeans were foreign here, so they had to procure it from a traveling merchant who came here from the United Kingdom .
「There are similar ingredients on the other side of the back entrance . Why are you so surprised this time? 」
There were some things in that world that did not exist in this one, some for which the opposite held true, and some that existed in both worlds . While Taisho was examining the various ingredients, Hans was watching off to the side, he didn’t understand what was so special about the soybeans .
「Hans, soybeans are the main ingredient for miso and soy sauce . 」
Shinobu muttered while staring into the pot containing the soybeans .
Miso and soy sauce: Hans was troubled by these two ingredients .
Hans had continuously researched about the other world’s cuisine while working at Izakaya Nobu in hopes of branching out someday .
When he did so, he wanted to forge ahead with only the ingredients of this world .
When he thought about it, miso and soy sauce were his first obstacles .
Although he couldn’t get the same ingredients like kelp and katsuobushi, there were other alternatives that were pretty good .
However, he could do nothing about miso and soy sauce .
「Then… that means… you can get miso and shoyu if you cook the soybeans?」
「It’s very difficult to make them, but it’s not impossible, I guess…」
Taisho looked grim as he scratched his chin with his index finger .
Hans had heard from Taisho that fermentation was necessary to make miso and soy sauce .
Unlike miso, which was relatively easy to make, making soy sauce would need a lot of research .
It was also necessary to find out if it could be produced in Aitheria’s climate .
「The main problem is whether or not we can obtain soybeans on a consistent and regular basis . 」
Leontaine sighed with her hands on her hips . They happened to obtain it by chance this time, but if they did not have a way to procure it later, attempting to make soy sauce and miso was futile .
「What’s wrong, Shinobu-chan?」
「Taisho, this pot… I can smell soy sauce from it . 」
The soybeans were transferred to another container, and everyone took a whiff from the pot .
Certainly, Hans recognized the distinctive smell of soy sauce . There was no doubt about it .
「There’s soy sauce… in this world?」
As far as Hans knew, there was no condiment similar to soy sauce in the Empire . Even the closest one, a type of fish sauce (Fischsoße), had a significantly different taste .
However, there might be soy sauce in the United Kingdom .
Hans had heard that the culture of the United Kingdom, which was on the other side of the sea, was slightly different from the Empire and the Eastern Kingdom . Perhaps, there were people who used seasoning similar to miso and soy sauce there .
「It’s still too early to draw a conclusion, Hans . We still have to prepare for tomorrow’s lunch business . 」
「You’re right . 」
Hans nodded at Leontaine’s words, and the discussion about the soy sauce halted .
The soybeans that were submerged in water overnight were first boiled until they became soft, and then boiled again with dashi and kelp . When the dashi had been reduced, it was finished .
This dish that took a long time to cook would be packed with flavor .
Hans did not like beans much because he would get tired of eating them, but he liked this specific bean dish .
The strong flavor of soy sauce pleased the palate of workers who were tired from physical labor . It was still spring for now, but when it got hotter from here on out, more and more dishes with stronger flavors would be served .
Soy sauce .
This black liquid captured Hans’s heart .
If he went to the United Kingdom, could he get soybeans there? Has wanted to go and confirm it immediately, but as he was still in training, such selfishness was not allowed .
「Hans-san, there’s too little salad on that plate . 」
「Hm? Oh, sorry Evchan . 」
Eva, who was washing dishes, pointed the mistake out to Hans and he came back to his senses .
Concentrate, concentrate . Today was the important first day of the daytime business . When he looked carefully, the servings on the set meals were clearly uneven . This should not happen .
He adjusted his mindset to focus back on his task .
「So, why did fried chicken breast become the daily special?」
「Well, that’s because… the day changes when the rooster crows . 」
「No wayyyy . 」
The trio of workers chatting at the table were not faces seen at night . All three of them were drinking ‘Toriaezu Nama’ while blithely nibbling on the tatsutage .
Whenever Hans saw a customer who could not come to Nobu before now enjoying a meal, he felt just a tiny bit more motivated .
「Hey, this is a good thing, isn’t it? These daytime sales . 」
Leontaine asked him if he was enjoying taking the orders .
「It’s nice to see them eating with such relish . 」
Leontaine’s beaming face was much brighter than when she had first started working for Nobu . The loneliness and sorrow that had occasionally punctuated her lively expressions seemed to have evaporated .
「Hans… are you still bothered about the soy sauce?」
「Well, a little . With soy sauce and miso, it’ll be a lot easier for Taisho to let me branch out . 」
「There’s still quite a way to go, isn’t it?」
「The problems just need to be handled one by one . 」
「Well, you have a point . It’s the right idea at least . 」
「Welcome!」Shinobu’s voice called out .
Another customer seemed to have entered . The strategy to get more customers was a success . Even the dishwasher, Eva, was busy .
Taisho cut the deep-fried tatsutage into smaller pieces for easier consumption while Hans arranged them on the plate .
Even though he was just arranging them, his forehead was drenched in sweat .
The work was endless and everything was busy . Still, it was a pleasant kind of busy .
Business continued until the prepared chicken breasts were exhausted .
「Thank you for your hard work!」
「Thank you as well!」
Once the shop’s sign curtain was taken down, a toast was made with non-alcoholic drinks .
The first day was a smashing success . Although the shop was only open for a short time, the number of customers were almost the same as a weekday night .
Eva immediately began suggesting new ideas on how to arrange customers and take their orders .
From where she stood as a dishwasher, she seemed to have a surprisingly good view of the shop .
「By the way, where’s Leontaine-san?」
At Shinobu’s prompting, Hans looked around, but there was certainly no sign of her in the shop . Her glass of lemonade still sat on the counter .
「Just now, she said she was heading out for a bit . 」
Taisho said while already beginning to prepare for the evening . Hans also headed for the kitchen in a hurry .
As the preparation time became shorter than usual, it was necessary for him to do so quickly .
「It’s quite rare for Leontaine to rush out like that . 」
「Don’t worry, I’m sure she’ll return . 」
Taisho comforted Shinobu who seemed to be worried .
Hans was also concerned, but Leontaine was strong . He firmly believed she would be alright even if anything were to happen .
「I wonder if she has something on her mind… 」
Eva muttered while washing the remaining plates . If that were the case, what could be troubling her so much as to cause her to suddenly disappear? Hans tried to think of a scenario, but nothing came to mind .
「Sorry, sorry . I’m really sorry for rushing out like that . 」
In the end, Leontaine returned just before the night business started, after the sun had set .
「Leontaine-san, what happened to you?」
Leontaine smiled wryly as she awkwardly scratched her head at Shinobu who was almost pouting .
「Weeelll, I thought I’d try to find the merchant from the United Kingdom who brought the soybeans to the Grand Bazaar . 」
Certainly, that was the fastest way to find out .
If she asked for information from the merchant, he might have an explanation for the soy sauce smell in the pot .
「So, how did it go?」
Leontaine shook her head helplessly at Hans, who braced himself for the answer .
「I guess it didn’t go well, I suppose . 」
「Were you unable to find them?」
「It’s not like that, Shinobu . I had found that Marco, the travelling merchant who ordered the sea urchins, was the one who had sold the soybeans . The problem is, he doesn’t know where the soybeans came from . 」
「What do you mean?」
Leontaine patted Eva’s head and explained that the travelling merchant from the United Kingdom had bought the soy beans from another travelling merchant .
「I’m certain that the travelling merchants, both buyer and seller, were from the United Kingdom . So, it’s good that we at least know there is likely a place in the United Kingdom that grows soybeans . 」
With that said, Leontaine winked at Hans .
Since she had researched that much for him, he should work seriously now . Hans was really grateful for his coworker .
However, the more he knew, the more curious he got about the origin of the soybeans .
If it was really in the United Kingdom, he wanted to go there to look for it . If that was not possible, then at least he wanted to ask someone else to do it in his stead .
Hans’ mind departed for the distant United Kingdom as he prepared the chicken karaage that was today’s recommended dish .
He had finally found a clue to his dream .
On that day, even after the business hours were over and he had returned home, Hans was still in a jubilant mood .Please download our sponsor's game to support us!