Eat this Word: Sake

WHAT? For goodness, sake. Considered Japan’s national drink, sake is made by inoculating white rice with a special mould (Aspergillus oryzae), mixing it with pure water, and allowing it to ferment. It’s a process more similar to beer making than to wine making, but sake is nevertheless usually translated as "rice wine." Also like beer, sake is best drunk young—Shizuo Tsuji, author of Japanese Cooking: A Simple Art (Kodansha), says experts recommend three months of age. Sake comes graded into classes: tokkyu (special class), ikkyu (first class) and nikyu (second class), but unlike French cru classifications, these do not designate quality. What you drink your sake in depends on whether you drink it hot or cold. Cold sake is usually served in cedar boxes called masuzake, sometimes with salt. Hot sake is served in small ceramic carafes called tokkuri, and is drunk from little cups.

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On the Menu: The Elements of Tofu

greens logo At tomorrow night's dinner for JBF Greens—our programming series for foodies under 40—guests will get a taste of the Japanese tradition of tofu. Chef Hiroki Abe of EN Japanese Brasserie will create a five-course seated tasting menu that showcases the many forms of fresh tofu and its rich history and artistry. Sake expert Kazuhide Yamazaki of Japan Prestige Sake International will pair a delectable sake with each course, and guests will also enjoy Stella Artois, Leffe, and Hoegaarden beers. Tickets are a steal at $55, so call 212-627-2308 or 1-800-36-BEARD to reserve your seat. View the full menu after the jump. Hors d'Oeuvre Warm Soy Milk Freshly Made Scooped Warm Tofu, Served with Wari Joyu Freshly Made Scooped Chilled Tofu, Served with Sea Salt Stella Artois, Leffe, and Hoegaarden Sake: Sawanoi Ginjo Dinner Zensai

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