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    Hiller's to Showcase Japanese Foods, Products During Daylong Fair

    Traditional chefs will prepare food and offer samples, spotlighting an extensive array of foods from the Land of the Rising Sun.

    Hiller's Markets will give Michiganders the opportunity to learn authentic Japanese cooking, courtesy of the independent grocer chain's Japanese foods buyer, Kyoko Watanabe, at a daylong Japanese Food Fair.

    The event is set to take place March 7 at Hiller's Commerce Township store at 14 Mile and Haggerty Roads, the home of the Southfield, Mich.-based grocer's largest selection of Japanese foods. Watanabe, who learned to cook by watching her mother prepare sensory-rich dishes, and other chefs will prepare favorite dishes and offer shoppers samples, instructions and cooking advice.

    Japanese cuisine focuses on staple foods like rice or noodles, soup and okazu -- dishes made from fish, meat, vegetables or tofu. Because Japan is an island nation, seafood appears on family tables frequently. Hiller's is renowned for its fresh, high-quality seafood, including squid, octopus, eel and shellfish as well as sashimi-grade fish.

    Specialty flavorings like dashi, miso and soy sauce are sold among Hiller's Asian foods selection. Presentation and process are important parts of a Japanese meal, as Watanabe and the other chefs will demonstrate.

    "If I don't eat high-quality sushi with a plate full of vegetables at least once or twice a week, I feel like I'm missing something," says Hiller's CEO Jim Hiller. "Health is a huge part of Japanese food habits -- the cuisine is delicious and unique, and the Japanese are highly aware of the good effects on health from eating one food over another. That awareness is enviable."

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