Japan: Destination sake!
But there is more to Japan than just Tokyo. On the island of SHIKOKU for example, they come in pilgrimage in their droves. SAPPORO is great for winter skiing, and OKINAWA, the Japanese equivalent of Hawaii, is a popular honeymoon destination. The town of NIIGATA, Japan’s leading rice producer, is definitely worth a detour for its premium sake production, which is an ancestral blend of the purest water imaginable, noble, polished rice and the highly-skilled expertise of the master-brewer.
This type of “rice beer” contains no additives or added sugar, and is obtained instead by fermenting rice into alcohol through the introduction of yeast, which in turn transforms the glucose into sugar. Sake is a light beverage, pure and subtle, hovering at around 10-16° alcohol content and is consumed mainly chilled or even on ice. Rather like a fine, white wine, it makes the perfect aperitif or will enhance the most refined culinary dishes. But a word of warning, the sake you may drink as a digestive outside of Japan, is more likely to be fermented sorghum grain or Mei Kwei Lu. Monogawa Shuzo, the eponymous sake company, welcomes visitors for a comprehensive initiation to this delectable nectar. And for those who cannot wait that long, there is lots to learn about sake at www.sakebar.fr
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