Yamatsu Tsujita Co., Ltd. is a spice company based just outside of Osaka that is famous for their shichimi togarashi (Japanese seven spice mix) and stone-ground sansho. The company is helmed by 4th generation owner Hiroyuki Tsujita, a man passionate about his craft. He insists on using the best quality ingredients for his products. Tsujita-san knows each supplier personally and even helps them during harvest time. As a master blender, he knows that each ingredient has its own best season. So expect to taste subtle differences in Yamatsu Tsujita shichimi togarashi depending on when it was blended.
Tsujita-san's dedication led him to the Takanotsume (Hawk’s Claw) chili pepper, a native of Japan that had been almost completely forgotten. Tsujita-san is now the only one who grows this pepper. He prizes it for its aroma and heat (three times hotter than regular peppers). As the main component of shichimi togarashi, Tsujita-san’s use of this chili really sets his product apart from the rest.
Yamatsu Tsujita’s sansho is a quite special product. Using the highly prized Yama Asakura Sansho, Tsujita-san grinds his using a stone mill. This method creates less heat than conventional grinding and this gentler method preserves the sansho’s delicate aroma.