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Monday, September 13, 2004

Takayama--Sake crawl

Sake is to Japan as bier is to Deutschland. I've always been a bit impartial to sake with its crisp clean taste and no bloating side-effects.

In Japan of course, the varieties and types of sake are mind-boggling. Hot or cold? How to tell one from the other? We decided to conduct our own sake crawl to find out (for gastronomic research purposes of course).

Sake slushees. Try getting that installed at your local 7-Eleven!

Eating sake jellies.

We ended up sampling sake jellies, sake slushees, hot sake, cold sake and cloudy sake. Cloudy sake was certainly unusual with quite a strong aroma and flavour present in the white clouds.

The most important lesson we learnt was that cold is good! Cheaper sakes are often served warm to disguise harshness of flavour. The best sake stands on its own two feet ice cold and delicious. Sake is often served warmed in winter for maximum heating effect, although with most of these alcohol contents, some would call it overcaution! Sakes are also graded by quality and most supermarkets in Japan indicate the quality level and advised drinking temperature.

Street of local sake breweries in Takayama

Crates of sake

...and the Mama Bear said "Who's been sitting in MY chair?"

2 comments - Add some comment love

posted by Anonymous on 9/13/2004 06:00:00 pm


  • At 9/20/2009 10:14 pm, Anonymous MCAT said…

    Usually the 3 main indicators are ingredients, seimaibuai and nihonshudo.
    Ingredients. Fewer the better. Cheap ones include added alcohol. The best ones only made from rice and koji. This leads to the various grades of sake; Daiginjo, Ginjo, Junmai, Seishu, Ikkyushu, etc.
    Seimai-buai. Rice yield. The lower the less yield. This means how much of rice is left after polishing. If the number is 60%, it means that they shaved 40% around the rice to only use the 60% core.
    Nihonshu-do. Scale. Positive is dry. Negative is sweet. Greater the number, the more it is towards that scale. You may find a tendency to your taste.

  • At 9/21/2009 12:12 am, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi MCAT - Thanks for the clarification on the qualities of sake. The rice yield percentage is particularly interesting!


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