Each soya bean can be harvested and eaten as a green pod. However, enjoyment only comes from eating the edamame soya varieties traditionally cultivated specifically for this purpose. Edamame soya beans therefore form a very special group of soya bean varieties with a range of tastes, colors and cultivation characteristics. Traditionally, edamame has been grown from Hokkaido to Manchuria, from Okinawa to Taiwan. Accordingly, there are a large number of local varieties that are suitable for different climates and tastes.
Many Asian varieties of edamame can be ruled out solely because of the climatic requirements. In addition, those of southern origins often have strong short-day characteristics. With such a characteristic, flowering would not begin until the days become shorter in the late summer in Europe – and this is much too late for the pods to have enough time to develop. But thanks to the varieties originating in more northern areas, especially on the island of Hokkaido, there are good varieties that can thrive in Europe, even in northern Germany. There are also several edamame-breeding projects in North America, but the best varieties still originate in Japan.
Usually varieties with green or yellow seeds are grown in the West. Black- and brown-seeded varieties, however, sometimes have a particularly fine taste and can also produce a good yield. The seeds are of a deeper green, they become black only at the end of the ripening process.
Information about Gartensoja’s current varieties can be found under Seeds.
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