Today I attended a Sake Conference and sat in on a professional food and sake pairing!
Amazing. Being that I am going to be in the world of wine … I really need to also know what other alcohols pair with food. I should be an expert if I have a request for a “non wine” beverage. So, I should definitely be versed in beer as well as ……sake.
This is a post dedicated to realizing that sake is not only delicious with japanese food, but also french food! A more traditional menu… paired with the sakes of Hiroshima. I also was unaware how diverse the different sake’s could be. I tasted 9 in total 🙂
To make sake …. the shortened version~ is to break down the starch in rice to transform it to sugar that can be fermented thus, producing alcohol. I sat through a lecture on this process and the history of sake… but again this post is not educational on sake making it’s geared rather toward pairing.
Let’s Begin. #1
Wow. Who knew camembert cheese was so complimentary to sake. There is lactic acid in sake so naturally it pairs very well with strong dairy products. Camembert is definitely a candidate for a strong aromatic dairy product.
# 2 Next, was a gougers a traditional french cheese puff.
Sake pairing brewery ~ (Umeda Schuzoujyou) This brought out not only the cheesy notes of the puff but also brought a delicate sweetness for the after finish of the cheese puff.
# 3 Countryside Pate on Crostini + Suishin Yamane Honten
Again, Sake pairs really well with heavy meats. The high content of alcohol can handle this.
#4 This salmon rillette was loaded with pink peppercorn as well as fresh dill. This rillette was also perfectly salted, which means it was a savory dish. The sake we paired with it was Miyake Honten Brewery.
#5 Mussels… Who knew. So now we have seafood, heavy meats and strong dairy products.
Next, the sake got interesting. This sake is clearly darker in color. This happens in the process when they make it. This sake took on an umami flavor smell (fried garlic, savory and salty notes of soy sauce) then to taste… it was almost chocolaty, brown sugar, plus brandy. This was the most interesting sake …it was paired with a smoked duck breast and dried apricot. Sweet and Savory… both in the dish and the sake.
#6 Enoki Schuzo- Sake Brewery
This next picture does not do this dish justice AT ALL! This was my favorite pairing and dish. It was melt in your mouth to die for! (I forgot my professional Camera…darn!)
#7 Duck Gizzard Confit (Cooked in its own rendered fat, served with pomme puree)
Okay, are you full yet?! Of course the portions were two bites each! Pictures appear larger.
#8 Next, Avocado with fresh Wasabi Vinaigrette.
#9 Finally, yogurt and honey.
Yes. Yogurt. So simple but a really brilliant pairing. When you smell most sake you get a banana, tropical fruit aroma on the nose. Then each will vary in taste…but I have discovered, just like wine, sake is fun to play with and experiment to see what you prefer.
I am excited to get back to wine… but just wanted to capture this beautiful three hour educational lunch on Sake. Tomorrow, I am attending some very high end wine events in Paris! Three to be exact… I need to get some rest and get my game face on 🙂