A popular traditional cuisine of Akita is kiritanpo, usually eaten during mid- September to March, but particularly in November when gluten cakes from newly harvested rice arrive on the market. Kiritanpo is cooked rice that is kneaded and then toasted on a skewer. It is then cut into 5-cm lengths and cooked in a pan with burdock, Chinese leeks, maitake mushrooms and other seasonal vegetables as well as Japanese parsley and chicken. You must experience this unique taste from Akita. Originally designed as a portable meal carried by woodcutters and hunters working in the mountains, its name comes from its shape, which resembles a tanpo- yari (leather spearhead sheath enclosing a cloth ball filled with cotton).