Medieval Sake

When the age of the aristocracy ended and samurais came to the forefront, major changes took place in the world of sake production. Homemade cloudy sake common up to that point gradually became obsolete and sake breweries emerged.
Also, copper coins were imported from trades with China during this time, when the traditional barter-based economy was replaced with a monetized economy. Therefore, commercial sake production increased according to documents, while many sake breweries referred to as “Dosou” lined the streets of Kyoto and doubled as a financial institution.
During the Period of the Northern and Southern Dynasties (420-589 A.D.) leading into the Kamakura period (1185-1333), both the Imperial Court and the shogunate had financial difficulties that led to taxes imposed on sake. A document from the mid-Muromachi period (1336~1573) listed the names of over 300 sake breweries in the city of Kyoto.
Also, sake production flourished in Buddhist temples around this time. Sake produced in Buddhist temples by monks is referred to as “Soubousyu.” Produced and sold to raise profits, Soubousyu were required to be high-quality, thus sake production skills advanced greatly during this period.

#japan #japanese #kyoto #sake


Tokyo Jizake Strolling (Secret Fad)

By Ryuji Takahashi

Chinese restaurant Machi-chuka is a secret fad in Tokyo. Machi-chuka was featured on TV and also in an entire magazine issue. Recently, one food producer is selling pre-packaged food products and condiments named the “Machi-chuka series,” currently in demand and difficult to obtain.
Although the line to categorize the restaurant is difficult to draw, Machi-chuka is a popular, individually-owned, community-based restaurant serving affordable delicious Chinese cuisine to the community since the Showa Era (1926-1989). At least one Machi-chuka location can be found in town throughout Tokyo. Cleanliness, ambiance, and flavor vary by restaurant location. I frequent different Machi-chuka locations on my days off. Many Machi-chuka restaurants are family-operated and opened to serve factory workers during the period of rapid economic growth, thus stocked with cartoon magazines and installed ashtrays.
Recently, many restaurants serve beer in medium bottles. However, regulars at Machi-chuka say the custom is to order beer in large bottles. I always start by ordering a can of beer with light appetizers, such as bamboo shoots and char siu. If no light appetizers are listed in the menu, I recommend the pan-fried gyoza dumplings. However, gyoza stuffed with filling is not what makes gyoza good.
Considering what to order afterwards, the ideal gyoza dumpling is filled mainly with vegetables and pan-fried to a crispy finish. I struggle with what to order afterwards every time, but will likely order stir-fried liver and garlic chives. The restaurant’s culinary techniques are evident in the exquisite balance between the liver, bean sprouts, chives and the sauce. Then comes the fried rice. Fried rice served at Machi-chuka is best moist, not dry. Stir-frying with lard is the best.
Crab used in crab fried rice must be imitation crab meat, not real crab. Using real crab meat increases the price dramatically. When students and businessmen gather during lunch hours, the more affordable imitation crab meat in greater volume is appreciated by customers. By this time, I’m starting to drink strong Green Tea-hi with a higher portion of shochu eyeballed by the hostess, not streamlined by chain izakaya restaurants.
Curry served at Machi-chuka is not stewed, but prepared to order with stir-fried ingredients, soup for Chinese noodles poured in, curry powder mixed in, and cornstarch dissolved with water added to make it thick. Mostly the same curry powder is used, while the soup for Chinese noodles differ according to the restaurant location, which allows each restaurant to serve their own original curry flavor. Machi-chuka offers a wide range of menu items with deep flavors. I expect my quest to continue for a long time.

#japanese #japanesefood #jizake #sake #tokyo


Prepare for the upcoming party season.

By Yuji Matsumoto

When we get into December, restaurants start becoming busy with year-end parties and Christmas parties, and we should start preparation from the beginning of November. During this time, wines and champagnes are consumed a lot and even served by restaurants, and it is disappointing that sales of Japanese sake is slightly held back by them. However, if you think of what goes good with food, I feel that Japanese sake is the winner. Also it can be consumed at different temperatures and I am happy that hot sake can warm up your body during the cold seasons.
With some thought out presentations, you can drink Japanese sake in style.
Let's start with the glass. By using the white wine glass instead of the usual Japanese sake glass, you can increase the luxury at your table. If you like sparkling alcohol like champagne, it would be interesting to serve sake in a flute glass. Varieties of sparkling Japanese sake has increased recently and we're thankful that they are being sold at reasonable prices. Also, we would like you to try flavor sake which is popular during this season.
If you like to drink hot sake, we suggest you buy the sake warming set on the market that uses candles to warm sake. This would be a very good match with Western style foods.


#christmas #holiday #japanese #japanesesake #party #sake #wine #yearend


Sake Nation “Activities of New Sake Breweries: Part I”

By Kosuke Kuji

The Japanese sake industry developed as a regional industry long-established in ancient times. On the other hand, this industry is difficult to enter for beginners. New license to produce sake is nearly impossible to obtain, a controversial issue with arguments for both sides.

Meanwhile, new sake breweries do emerge in Japan. Since a new license to produce sake is impossible to obtain, a different corporation typically emerges to rescue a closed sake brewery in many cases.
One such case is Choshu Sake Brewery Co., Ltd., based in Yamaguchi prefecture, producer of “Tenbi.”
Choshu Sake Brewery Co., Ltd. (Yamaguchi prefecture) was founded when Choshu Industry Co., Ltd., capitalizing on their photovoltaic (PV) power generating system, emerged to rescue Kodama Brewery that had already ceased sake production. Choshu Sake Brewery Co., Ltd. welcomed a female master sake brewer (my junior colleague), a graduate of Tokyo University of Agriculture, Department of Fermentation Science; to regroup as Choshu Sake Brewery Co., Ltd. and produce a new sake brand “Tenbi.”
For detailed background information on the brewery, please refer to the home page (https://choshusake.com/history).

The female master sake brewer is passionately and carefully thorough in her excellent sake production skills. The quality sake “Tenbi” produced the first year after the new brewery was built garnered many headlines nationwide.
Since this sake cannot be produced in large volumes yet, export to the U.S. is not available. Since Choshu Sake Brewery Co., Ltd. is still a new sake brewery producing a rare new brand of sake with a delicate and delicious flavor, please try “Tenbi” if you see it in Japan on a store shelf.

酒豪大陸「新しい酒蔵の息吹 その1」

#japanese #japanesefood #sake


  • ブログルメンバーの方は下記のページからログインをお願いいたします。
  • まだブログルのメンバーでない方は下記のページから登録をお願いいたします。