English Sake Brewer Master in Japan: Phillip Harper (3) (Postnotes added!)

tetsukezu

A lot has been written and will be written both here in Japan and abroad on Phillip Harper as he has, with the likes of John Gauntner, Timothy Sullivan and Melinda Joe, established himself as one of the references proving once for all that Japanese sake has at last expanded beyond the confines of this island for the good of all.
It is only a question of time when sake breweries will become a part of life like wine and beer abroad as demonstrated by the five existing branches of large Japanese breweries in the United States employing a full American staff and Moto I, the entirely owned and run American Sake Brewery.

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What makes the difference is that Phillip has gone as far as becoming the only foreign sake “toji”/master brewer in a Japanese brewery, namely Ki no Shita Brewery in Kyoto Prefecture!
An Oxford graduate hailing from Cornwall, it took him 18 years of sheer courage and guts to break into the closely guarded world of Japanese sake to gain recognition and earn his master brewer status in 2001.
The media (including The Los Angeles Times) finally take good note of his achievements when he was formally asked by Owner Yoshito Kinoshita to become his new Master Brewer (incidentally Phillip had already held that position in Osaka for two years).

This the third of the three bottles I received from his fans in Tokyo. That particular one was sent to me by Melinda Joe.

Kinoshita Brewery, Tamagawa, Tetsukezu Genshu Junmai Ginjo
Rice: Gohyakumangiku
Rice milled down to: 60%
Alcohol: 18~19 degrees (high as it is a genshu/unaltered alcohol contents)

Clarity: Very clear
Colour: Transparent
Aroma: Fruity, elegant. Strawberries, apricot.
Body: Velvety
Taste: Strong attack backed by alcohol.
Shortish tail. Warms up back of the palate.
Complex. Junmai tingle.
Fruity and dryish: apricots with hints of strawberries, almonds and macadamia nuts.
Elegant.
Dry almonds making a regular comeback.
Holds its own well with food, but revealing different facets, especially strawberries with a dry finish.

Overall: Elegant and easy to drink in spite of high alcohol contents.
For once, similar to Shizuoka-brewed sake.
Combines fruitiness and dryness into a remarkably palatable (eminently drinkable) creation!

PHILLIP’S COMMENTS:

The specs for that sake are:

SMV +4, Acidity 1.7, Amino Acids 1.5, Alcohol 18.7.

It was brewed with the same organic rice used to make the Konotori kimoto you reviewed the other day – at 60% polish this time.
Though it doesn’t seem to have made an impression on you, that sake isslightly effervescent. Bubbly sake is usually made either by refermenting in the bottle (like Champagne…), or injecting gas into the sake itself. Oh,and a few people do a kind of sparkling wine thing with secondary fermentationin tanks. Tetsukezu bubbles are different, because they derive from the originalfermentation in the mash itself. We trap them in by a secret method that I can’t
reveal, except to say that it is as high-tech as all the other stuff we do at Tamagawa.

Regards, Philip

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Must-see tasting websites:
-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery
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French Cake: Tourteau Fromager

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Following a discussion with my good Foodbuzz Friend, Jennifer Razon, about the Tourteau Fromager Cheese cake mentiond on my last posting on French Gastronomy on Stamps (No 20: Poitou-Charente), I decided it was best to introduce the recipe (with the help of Wikipedia) for all our friends’ benefit!

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Tourteau Froamger is an ancient French regional Pastry/cake from Poitou Region, not to be confused with “tourtons”, which are mountain cakes.

Ingredients:

-Very fresh cheese (in Poitou it is fresh goat cheese, just out of the dairy. Similar to Fromage blanc. Goat cheese is best, but mixed with Cow cheese is fine, too. Cow’s fromage blanc is fine, too!): 200 g
-Sugar: 150 g
-Flour: 50 g
-Egg yolks: 4
-Yeast: 1 teaspoon
-Bitter Almond (amande amère) extracr: a few drops
-Beaten egg whites: 4
-Pâte brisée

tourteau-3

Pate Brisee recipe (Shortcrust pastry recipe):
Ingrédients
Flour: 200 g
Butter: 125 g
Sugar: 100 g
Oil: 20 cc
Water: 200 cc
Alt: a pinch

Pour the flour into a large bowl and “dig a well” in the center.
Pur oil in well.
Add butter (the butter is soft, never melted!).
Add Sugar and salt.
Knead the whole as to form a ball.
Spread on oven paper inside cake dish.
Cook in oven until hard enough.
Take out and let cool completely.

Utensil:
Use a high and round Mold made of metal.

Recipe:

Mix cheese and sugar. Once the mixture is homogeonous (regular), add eggs and the flour/yeast mixture.
Pour inside Pate Brisee/Shortcrust pastry and let rest for a couple of hours.

Then cook for 1 hour (mderate) or 45 minutes at 180 Celsius degrees (hot).
Once cooked, the cake appears as seared black outside, but this is only a thin layer over a soft body. It will protect your cake for a good deal of time.
The French eat it as it is, but you might want to scrape the black ayer away.

All traditional recipes are slightly ifferent from home to home. This is an example you can work on!

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Today’s Lunch Box/Bento (’09/28)

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This morning The Missus said that I ate too much rice for my comfort, meaning it was fattening me!
Therefore she declared that I was going to have sandwich Bento today!
Actually, I’m pretty sure that bread contains more calories than rice!

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The sandwich was double-decker with three slices of bread.

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Fairly simple in concept (and probably healthier!), it was laid with a very thin omelette on the first deck, then cheese (toasted), ham (seasoned with mustard) and lettuce for the second deck.

bento-09-04-27c

The Salad dish was pretty voluminous:
Bed of cress.
Plum tomatoes.
French pickled cucumbers and onions,.
Lettuce.
Black olives
Potato salad.
Oranges and strawberries for dessert.

Quite big in the end! LOL

My good friend Elin nicely asked me to include some pictures of flowers as it is Spring in Japan:

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That flowering tree is a Dogwood Tree or Hanamizukira in Japanese!

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French Gastronomy on Stamps (20): Poitou-Charente

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France has issued many stamps on food (not foodstamps!) on her own gastronomy for quite some time.
A new series will be issued on April 25th and wil be printed in the form of mini-sheets dedicated to a particular region with stamps, pics and explanations.
With the twentieth of these sheets I’d like to introduce is Poitou-Charente.

Poitou Charente includes Poitou and Poitiers, the theatre of great battles during the 100 Years War. It also includes Cognac and its brandies, hence a very strong English influence also found in La Rochelle, the capital of Charente. Ile de Re/Re Island was the place where Protestants had to leave France under Louis XIV’s reign. I actually found 14 families there (population: 2,500) bearing my surname (I was born Catholic, but my surname was mainly Huguenot)!
Ile de Re was also the final departure from France for many forced laborers who left for French Guyana.

It has an extremely rich culinary tradition.
On the sheet you will notice:
-Oysters (marennes in particular)
-Tourteau Fromager, a succulent cake made with local cheese.

You must also include superlative seafood (including shark!), cheeses (especially goat cheese!), and spirits (not only Cognac, but Pineau and wines).
Visit La Rochelle and Ile de Re for its food and great sea resorts!

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Shizuoka Beer 7/2: Hansharo Beer/Kurayanarusawa Brewery-Tarozaemon

tarozaemon

The weather having definitely turned warmer, I just becomes too difficult to get away from real beer! Time again to delve back into more Shizuoka micro-breweries brews!
The Good Beer and Country Boys in Nagoya will get tempted!

This particular brew, “Tarozaemon is another Pilsen type by Kurayanarusawa in Izu-Nagaoka (Izu no Kuni City in Izu Peninsula)

Hansharo Beer/Kurayanarusawa Brewery-Tarozaemon
Ingredients: Grain Malt, Hops, Yeast
Alcohol: 5%
Contents: 300ml
Live yeast, unfiltered, unpasteurized.

Clarity: Very clear
Colour: Golden
Foam: Long head, fine bubbles
Aroma: Dry, oranges, bread
Taste: Shortish tail. Dry. Oranges, bread.
Solid, refreshing impression

Overall: Very refreshing, easy to drink. Thirst-quaffing.
Light, but solid.

Kurayanarusawa Brewery
Shizuoka Ken, Izu no Kuni Shi, Naka, 272-1
Tel.: 055-949-1208
Sales on site or through the Internet (Japanese)
Visits possible
Restaurant on site

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Must-see tasting websites:
-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery
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Please check the new postings at:
sake, shochu and sushi

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French Gastronomy on Stamps (19): Picardie

timbres-gastronomie-picardie

France has issued many stamps on food (not foodstamps!) on her own gastronomy for quite some time.
A new series will be issued on April 25th and wil be printed in the form of mini-sheets dedicated to a particular region with stamps, pics and explanations.
With the nineteenth of these sheets I’d like to introduce is Picardie.

Picardie for a long time moved along local politics and alliances moving from hands to hands, Englis, Burgundian, Spanish and French. Its inhabitants still feel very independent and resent outside authority.
It is a very rich and traditional culinary region based around its famous beers.

The sheet here features the Tare au Maroilles, a kind of Quiche made with Maroilles Cheese. The same cheese can be ooked in beer like a Welsh rarebit.
The Flemiche Picarde comes in various shapes but is basically a gratin containing endives and pork.
The region is also famous for a rare plant called salicorne or sea bean, which grows in salted water. It is not a seaweed and can be savoured in many ways.

Picardie is also famous for its cakes like Gateau battu and all kinds of biscuits, eels, pates and terrines. This rgion can go through severe winters, so its people need a hearty food!

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Japanese Fusion Cuisine at Tomii

tomii-fusion

I visited Tomii, my favourite Japanese restaurant in Shizuoka City last night to sample the “Sansai/Wild Mountain Vegetables” menu (coming posting for vegans and vegetarians!). Befi\ore the last dish, I was offered a great dish in its simpicity and taste that I couldn’t include in posting for vegans and vegetarians!

I call it “Japanese Fusion” because it is clever, if simple, association of Japanese and Italian tastes:

Two kind of (green and white) extremely frsh asparaguses were simply fried in olive oil. No need for boiling them.
They were then served with freshly grated Parmeggiano and sprinkled with a balsamico-base dressing.
Mr. Tomii added a “onsen tamago/Japanese-style poached egg” to break and eat together wth the asparaguses.
Some pimentoes added the final colour touch.

Simple and so “oishii/scrumptious”!
A great combination of crunchiness (asparaguse) and tenderness (egg)!

TOMII
Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Tokiwa-cho, 1-2-7, Tomii Bldg, 1F
Tel.: 054-274-0666
Business hours: 17:00~22:00
Closed on Sundays
HOMEPAGE (Japanese)

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