The Story Behind Our Making
This is a story of when I was just a preschool student about 4-5 years old. My now deceased father, the founder of our company, would often cook sweet and fluffy sweet potatoes using a portable clay stove called a “shichirin.” He would say, “anything cooked with carbon tastes so good.” That’s right. He would put carbon blocks instead of charcoal in the shichirin.
Twenty years later, I became a regular customer of an izakaya (Japanese style bar) near my house. The master there was a famous entrepreneur in the Kansai restaurant industry who sold baked sweet potatoes in a truck during the day and managed several izakayas at night.
At the time, the world was in the midst of a recession and our company was also affected by this wave, experiencing drastic declines in orders. I was trying to think of a way to develop a great product that would help us break through the recession. One day, when I was listening to the owner talk about his daytime job of cooking sweet potatoes with heated rocks, I said, “sweet potatoes might taste better being cooked with carbon instead of rocks due to its far-infrared effects!” He urged that we try, so I went ahead and made a simple sweet potato cooking pot out of carbon and brought it to him.
Several days later after cooking various types of sweet potatoes, he found that every potato was baked wonderfully and tasted delicious. He said, “this is a go!” and added that rice cooked with far-infrared effects would probably taste good too. From this conversation, my next idea was to make a rice pot to cook one of the izakaya’s most popular menus. It was a brimmed rice pot to cook 1 cup of rice.
I borrowed the aluminum rice pot that he had been using as a sample and created a test version out of carbon while taking its brittle nature in consideration in the design. He immediately tested my creation and as I had guessed, he replied that he had never tasted rice that tasted so good. I went and tasted the samples myself as well.
The rice was so delicious that I was stumbling for words to describe how good it tasted. The gloss and sweetness of the rice was nothing near the taste of rice cooked in an electric rice cooker.
This carbon pot was of course welcomed at this izakaya and the pot became a commercialized product. Several months later, a friend of mine who was a manager at a famous yakiniku (Japanese style BBQ) restaurant in the Kyoto and Hokuriku regions called on me for advice after one of his customers said that the meat at his restaurant was delicious but the rice was plain. He asked me if I had any good ideas.
I told him about the izakaya that used our carbon pot and we decided to go there together. My friend exclaimed, “this is delicious!” and could not hide his excitement. He immediately decided to use our pots and ordered a few dozen brimmed carbon rice pots that cooked 2 cups of rice. At the time, I had no idea that this would eventually lead to our joint development of a high-grade rice cooker that became a hit product with a certain electronics company.
Several years later, a certain electronics company contacted our company and asked if we could make a carbon pot for an electric rice cooker.
Our sales representative immediately replied, “yes!” and the development manager of the electronics company came for a meeting.
Our meeting lasted until the evening, and afterwards, I took him to a yakiniku restaurant in Takatsuki city to actually taste the rice cooked with our carbon pots. This restaurant had “freshly cooked rice” on their menu, which was 2 cups of rice for 1,000 yen. About an hour later, the restaurant manager brought the delicious rice cooked in the carbon pot.
Removing the lid of the brimmed rice pot,,,there we saw a beautiful indentation made from rising air and glossy, savory rice. The development manager snapped many photos before finishing the rice. His first words were, “This is it. This is what we want for our rice cooker!”
Two and a half years later, the electronics company released the world’s first electronic rice cooker that used a carbon pot.
This is probably the first time that a product made with carbon graphite was made for general consumers rather than for industrial use. During the development period, we conducted many tests and collected data in order to select the materials, check the amount of far-infrared rays, and examine the safety of the product as kitchenware.
Up until now, our company has developed several dozen cooking tools made of carbon graphite. Additionally, our company recreation area has a pizza oven, Dutch oven and an outside bath tub made from carbon graphite. The carbon bath is an excellent way to experience the far-infrared effect with your own body, as the carbon tub helps to warm the body from the center. This recreation center is still being used to let employees and their families, and companies that we have businesses with experience the effects of carbon graphite firsthand to share their thoughts with us.
Out of all of the products, the most popular product was the multipurpose kitchenware, the carbon pot. It can be used to cook rice, simmer, grill, steam and defrost, and can also be used with diverse heat sources such as direct flames, IH cooking heaters and ovens.
We have always strived to maximize the greatness of carbon graphite and to make carbon kitchenware products that have a wide range of usages.
We believe this is our mission and responsibility as a carbon product maker.
The ANAORI CARBON POT is a culmination of our 50 years of experience.
CEO, Anaori Carbon Co., Inc.
About ANAORI CARBON
First established in 1962 as a maker of carbon brushes for motors and then moving on to processing carbon graphite for industrial use and carbon insulation materials, ANAORI CARBON has honed its technology over the past 50 years as a company that makes useful products.