Buckwheat seeds are used to make soba noodles, a staple in Japanese cuisine. Buckwheat also happens to be one of Japan’s most common allergens among children, and if the ingredient was more popular in other parts of the world, there may be more cases reported. Symptoms range from gastrointestinal distress to anaphylaxis, which can cause the throat to swell.
In an effort to raise awareness of the soba food allergy, a group of soba restaurants near Sapporo on the island of Hokkaido distributed temporary tattoos created to detect allergic reactions. The temporary tattoos, designed by the ad agency J. Walter Thompson with collaboration from a dermatologist, were inspired by traditional Japanese art styles.
The tattoos were applied using the broth from boiling soba, instead of plain water. If there was a positive allergic reaction, the skin beneath the tattoo would turn red and the color becomes visible through clear plastic sections of the tattoo motif.
Hokkaido’s soba association hopes to spread them throughout the country to continue raising awareness of the allergy.
Source: Spoon & Tamago