Always fun to be invited to these events. My Japanese food wholesaler, JFC invited me to this event.
Kinmiya shochu which prides itself in creating the “best cheap shochu” in Japan. Shochu is eother classified as Otsu rui or Ko rui the latter being a predominantly continuous distilling mixed with water, therefore generally considered cheap and nasty (cheerful) to be drunk with mixers (chu-hi). The Kinmiya shochu is distiller to 99 percent and diluted with their prestine well water. The result is a shochu that has no flavour at all, in a good way. None of the nasty alcohol scents. Therefore the cocktail tastes better.
Akita Seishu’s Yamatoshizuku series is an interesting one. They use the local rice in their own rice paddies or from contractor farmers within a 10km radius. Most premium sake brewers go to lengths to obtain the premium Yamadanishiki rice from far away sources. The philosophy of the fresh/local translates to the technique and flavour as well. The sake is bottled immediately after squeezing which is unusual. Usually sake is bottled every month and labeled accordingly such as the spring “Hatsu Shibori” , the summer “Namasake”, and the autumn “Hiyaoroshi”. The Yamatoshizuku series are bottled straight after the first squeeze and you can even taste a bit of gas remaining from the fermentation. The Yamatoshizuku Junmai Ginjo was a very fresh tasting sake and my choice of the show.
I stopped by to talk with the Tonami Shoyu Company who supplies the two year aged squid sauce which we use to flavour our tonkotsu soup. They are unlike other commercial suppliers that usually overflavour their products with MSG and sugars. Their philosophy is keeping true to the beautiful produce. Pictured in the background is plain pasturized Yuzu skin. They also have very simple yuzu kosho and yuzu miso etc. The sales rep showed me this beautiful pewter basket ornament also made in Toyama prefecture. I actually knew about this product because it was introduced in my favourite TV program, Cambria Kyuden, a documentary show hosted by famous author Ryu Murakami and features individuals, corporations or organizations who does something unique and innovative to contribute to society. I think this skillful craft was picked up when some rural companies were featured for putting ancient techniques, in this case, pewter casting to innovative design production. Tonami and JFC will be helping with the overseas exporting of this item. I want it!!