Posts Tagged ‘Sake’
It has been a long time coming, but Toronto has a brewery producing high-quality sake likely to impress even the most discerning of critics. The Ontario Spring Water Sake Company currently offers six regular and four limited items.
On a cold winter afternoon I attended a tasting tour of the brewery which is appropriately located in a nineteenth century distillery. Following an explanation of how sake is made and a look at the brewery floor, which was surprisingly compact, I tasted five of the current offerings. Generally, the brewing style is sweet and fragrant and each has its own distinct flavour and character. Choosing a favorite is difficult; each one was excellent. Some would be a perfect accompaniment for food and some best enjoyed on their own.
The nigori zake was smooth and flavourful, but the real treat was the slightly cloudy shiboritate from batch 33. I looked at the snow blowing outside the window an thought this is the perfect way to celebrate winter.
Spring weather does not get any better than this. Cloudless sky, cool breeze and green rice fields with blue mountains in the distance. Naoko’s day off so we went to Osaka in the afternoon. Spent the time walking and sight-seeing.
Listened to a very good local punk rock band playing in front of JR Osaka Umeda station. Jeff, my God Son, a serious punk rocker, would approve.
In the evening we went to one of my favourite restaurants in Namba, 三間堂、 San Gen Dou. Take a look at the attached; it may appear to be a slushie in a box, but it is really Yuki Doke Zake, (melting snow sake.) Presented with a small dish of black sesame tofu (left), don’t believe what you learned in medical school about low temperatures slowing reactions, this innocent-looking treat will hit one like a Shinkansen on the fast track. A frozen glass is filled with very cold sake such that it overflows, filling the box which is also frozen. Almost instantly the sake — take your pick, dry or fruity — turns to ice. The challenge is to consume it without getting any on one’s kimono.
Wherever this note finds you, I hope it finds you well, J
Original note written April 25, 2010.
Had a an incredibly hectic afternoon in Kyoto browsing bookshops and drinking coffee. Since the afternoon had become quite warm I decided to pick up a cool drink for the train ride home to Nara.
It is clear that the Kyoto Prefecture authorities don’t share the Ontario attitude toward the sale of alcohol. Witness the attached; chilled individual servings of wine, shochu, coolers, whiskey, beer and sake. Yes, its all booze; that entire display is ready-to-consume alcohol, and that’s only the small cold stuff. And, its in a department store, so one can also conveniently pick up a designer bag or pair of socks.
Naoko is on the overnight shift at the hospice tonight so I am wandering aimlessly around the local supermarket waiting for the the sushi to go on final offer.
More over dinner (once I get it,) and hyperactive animation on TV.