Speaking of summer of Japan, the rousing summer festival (Matsuri) must be on the list. Wearing tranditional Yukatas with friends, watching the grand fireworks, enjoying the fascinating snacks from the food stalls...What can be more Japan-like than this? Therefore, Saketora invited the handsome sake sommelier, Mr. Naoya Namisato, to join our Facebook live show on 9th July, introducing the food pairing with food for summer festival and Japanese sakes, to let you feel like being in Japan! We have introduced the pairing of candy apple and Isenonami Junmai Daiginjo on that day, and we will introduce you more food pairing tips with other summer festival foods. Check the following tips out!
Takoyaki (Octopus balls)
The delicious takoyaki is always one of the most popular street food. Although the is octopus is the main ingredient as the name implies, the thick sauce on the takoyaki, the sweet and sour and the savory Katsuobushi (Bonito flakes) on it may have more influence on the taste. Therefore, when paired with sake, the balance between the sauce and the sake is the key to success. Sawanoi is dry enough for its taste not to be covered by the takoyaki. It is also dry and clean and therefore can wash away the oily feeling. As for Imayo-tsukasa Ultra Dry, it is dry with umami and also with a bit bitter after taste, with can perfectly balanced with the umami of the wheat flour-based batter. When it comes to Mikadomatsu M.O.Rish, its slightly sour taste makes a perfect match with the sour mayonnaise. The body become light and soft, with stronger umami when it is served warm, which can complement the umami of Katsuobushi even better.
Skewered grilled chicken
Skewered grilled chicken
Savory chicken meat, after the grill on charcoal fire, would turn into one of the most popular food for the Japanese workers after work. Chicken skewers are generally divided into salted one, which has a lighter taste and more umami, and the thick sauce one, which is heavier and more greasy, so there are different strategies when pairing with sakes. Sawanoi is clean and refreshing, which makes it perfectly matched with the salt, while the umami of the chicken meat can also be kept; however, when it is paired with the thick sauce one, although it can clean up your taste buds, but the taste of sake would be a bit covered by the sauce. One the other hand, the taste of Imayo-tsukasa is more complicated and therefore the umami of chicken would be covered by the sake; yet the amino acids of the sake can complement each other with the thick sauce, making the whole taste become more balanced. As for Mikadomatsu M.O.Rish, it is a bit too delicated for pairing with skewered grilled chicken in general, and so we would suggest you to have it with Takoyaki.
The Japanese candy apple is a popular sweet snack in summer festivals by using refreshing apples, dipped in syrup and frozen. Many people think that such a sweet taste is difficult to match with sake, but it turns out that the combination can be surprising. Isenonami is fruity and sweet with a little sourness. It just perfectly matches with the sweet and sourness of the candy on top and the apple respectively. It is so perfectly balanced that even sake new comers can also enjoy it. However, although they are also Daiginjo class and fruity, Prototype, Souhana and Yatsushika is a bit too delicated and therefore would be covered by the sweetness of the candy. As for Tamajiman, the aroma of Daiginjo would not be too strong that cover the sweetness, with a very clean after taste, and therefore can be balanced with the candy apple.