There is a butcher in the town I live and the owner of the shop grills chicken and makes Yakitori in front of the shop every day. The cloud of aromatic smoke waft off the grill is so good that I can’t resist buying some, whenever I pass by the shop. My favorites are “Negima (chicken and leek)” “Liver” “Hatsu (heart)”.
It is said that yakitori stall was born in the middle of Meiji period (1898-1912). It is also said that “Choya” which sparrows were purchased as feed for the falcons started Yakitori shop since there are too many sparrows.
The broiler chicken started to be raised throughout Japan in 1950’s and the price of the chicken became lower and popularization of Yakitori began.
From that time, one or two small Yakitori shop opened at every train station for after work businessmen stopping by. Usually, Yakitori shop themselves are far from fancy…often they consist of just a few stools pushed against a counter.
You can also find top-rate yakitori shops serve jidori which are heirloom native breeds of chicken or hybrids with at least fifty percent of their DNA from native breeds. Jidori birds are usually local to a particular part of Japan, and they’re generally raised in free-range conditions, so the meat is more flavorful.
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