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. WHEN? Michael Carrino's Beard House dinner WHERE? May 26, 2010 HOW? Sake and Beer–Braised Pittenger Farms Pork Belly with Pickled Cabbage, Rice Porridge, and Smoked Pork Broth

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