Skip to main content

Japanese Sake & Cheese

Japanese Sake & Cheese: Take me to the Curd



I’ve been a fan of the curd for decades, ever since my time spent up in northern, California I owe my good friend Vinney Sorrentino for sponsoring that trip and for imparting the knowledge of good cheese and wine to me. The first really good cheese he introduced to me, and the first exotic cheese I had ever tried, was called Morbier cheese, a product of France from the Île-de-France region.



The name Morbier means “small market-town” and is produced in the village of Morez in the Jura Mountains. The cheese is uncooked and pressed, and allowed to mature for two months. It is then brushed with salty water. The shape is round with sides that bulge slightly; it has a horizontal black furrow through the middle. The production of this cheese is protected by a special label from the Franche-Comte; it belongs to the AOC family. Its taste is savory and fruity.



Back in the day, Opus One used to be the talk of the town.   If you had a good creamy cheese that had a semi hard texture, coupled with the setting sun over the northern California horizon.



Almost a decade later and I’m here in Japan now, and I am sensing a revived interest in the curd. It’s what people are talking about now along with Japanese sake.  Can sake pair well with cheese? Some think so, I think so, Mr. Masa Shiroki, owner of Artisan Sakemaker, may thinks so, and a small but growing cadre of sake aficionados and cocktail mixologist.  People want to be more daring now and are willing to try something unconventional at least once, so why not sake and cheese…?  Would I still be regarded as a purist, you think?






"My dream is the day when I go into someone's house whom I don't know and he opens up his fridge and there's a bottle of sake and he offers it to me with his favourite non-Japanese food. That will be the day." Quote from Mr. Masa Shiroki
Humboldt Fog with proper Affinage
So, here's to the sake lover inside of all of us. I recommend a Dassai50, or just about any Junmai or Junmai Daiginjo. Something chilled preferable .

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Shin-Okubo: Little Korea

So I finally got around to going up there to Shin-Okubo,  the land of Seoul via the Yamanote Line.  Been putting this trip off for years for personal reasons;  I am not a fan of Hanlleyu.      I knew why I came up this way, and for none other reason than the food, and maybe to bask in the nausea of Korean romanticist who steal Japanese Jukujo's souls.    But honestly, I like spicy food and stews and pickled vegetables that challenge my taste buds.    I also love the little funky cafes that line the main thoroughfares and alley ways, each with their own little eclectic menus and interior decor.     This place is Korea.  





Shin-Okuba represents more than just a place to relish in Korean culinary delights and K-pop culture, but a place where Koreans can express themselves through their culture.    You can feel the local vibe in the air as you're walking down narrow walkways and footpaths.    I have personally been to mainland Korea six times, so a lot of the nostalgia was there …

August: The Return of Souls

August is peak summer season in Japan.  We can look forward to some of the most spectacular fireworks displays and festivals in the world, especially  in places like Tohoku and Kanto regions.  August is also  the most contentious month of the year in Japan; with the end of the war and war-related guilt.    Then there's the great exodus back home for millions of Japanese.   Obon season is what it's called in Japan, and it's  where families return to their hometowns to remember their ancestors and to spend time with loved ones.  Gravestones are visited, cleaned, and washed; rice or alcohol is often placed on  miniature altars next to a  headstone.  This is a way for Japanese to reconnect with their roots; a way for them to stay grounded and founded in the ways of tradition and cultural protocol.   

For the foreign tourist, some places will be overcrowded and expensive to reach; for Japanese, this is normal and can't be helped.   Wherever you go there will be lines and h…

For the Glory of Sake

For the Glory of Sake



Couldn't help but notice the snarky remark the Japanese guy made sitting next to me on my left.  " Oh...you like Japanese sake.   This is a Japanese drink.  I like I like" he chided in Japanese English.  He attempted to rest his hand on my balls, but I slapped it away.  "No shit, then why are you drinking two fingers Jack-n-Coke" I retorted.   
I was requested to come and have a sit and drink lesson by the owner of the bar, who in turn introduced me to this drunk S.O.B.  And for a nominal fee I had to grit and bear the sickness of sitting next to a stinky salary man with a Black penis fetish for several hours while appearing like I was having the time of my life.  I didn't want to ruin it for my Jukujo matron and patron, so I behaved.  
I haven't been to a Japanese shrine in a while, but whenever I go I always pray and thank the Gods for the Japanese Jukujo.  I thank them for delivering me from the scourge of silly little she-men w…