Sake - 酒
Sake, called "nihonshu" by the Japanese, designates an alcoholic drink obtained after fermentation of rice.
The technique of making sake was introduced from China around the 3rd century. Then in the 7th century, the imperial court incorporated sake into certain Shinto religious rites. Taking over, Shinto shrines are making sake all over the country. The ancestor of today's sake was born.
The quality of a sake depends on three essential factors defined by the expression waza-mizu-kome: waza (the know-how), mizu (the quality of the water), and kome (the quality of the rice and its degree polishing). The more polished the rice, the higher the quality of the sake.
- The rice is polished until only the heart of the grain is left.
- Once polished, the rice is washed, moistened, and slowly steamed.
- A crucial step is being prepared: the rice will receive the Koji (microscopic mushroom) to release the simple sugars. These simple sugars can then ferment into alcohol.
- After three days, yeast and spring water are added for fermentation. The yeasts will grow and begin to produce alcohol and alcohol esters.
- This process takes 3-5 weeks. The content is mixed regularly.
- At the end of fermentation, the contents of the vats are recovered and pressed. The sake is then filtered and pasteurized. Six months later, it is bottled and can be tasted.