Soba is made from ground buckwheat seeds. It is a health food but is also served at festive events. Toshikoshi soba, literally "soba that lasts the year", is widely consumed and appreciated at the end of the year.
The "new soba" is particularly popular in Japan. When harvested in autumn, buckwheat is green in colour and its aroma and appearance change very quickly. The new soba is made from this buckwheat that is still tender and very fresh. The texture of the soba is then softer and tastier.