Saké: Water from Heaven

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Universe Books, 2003 - Cooking - 192 pages
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Saké, the Japanese alcoholic beverage derived from rice, is quickly becoming one of the "coolest" international drinks after almost 2,000 years of popularity in Japan. The current nationwide rise of saké bars and saké-influenced drinks such as the sakétini hold testament to its newly gained popularity.

This newfound buzz has people more curious than ever about this traditional Japanese drink. Did you know that there are thousands of varieties of saké or that saké has 400 flavor components to wine's 200? Also, did you know that most of finest saké's are supposed to be served chilled? Or that saké has no sulphites and that the premium grades won't give you a hangover? Also, in Japan, saké is rarely served with sushi; ironic, as for most Americans saké and sushi go hand-in-hand.

Rocky Aoki, the famed restaurateur and founder of the Benihana franchise restaurants and Haru, explores this relatively unknown drink, supplying a full background to this still-mysterious beverage. Aoki examines how the rice is grown and brewed, the background and history of saké in Japanese culture, the differences between the variety of styles of saké, what types of food should be eaten with what types of saké, and where one can go to purchase or order bottles of saké.

With the same zest and appeal he has brought to his phenomenally successful Benihana chain, which entertainingly introduced the world to Japanese cuisine, Aoki, with this book, will likewise extend the same appeal to the joy of saké.

Also included in the book is Rocky's own saké guide, brands he has selected that are commonly found in the United States as well as other more specialized brands that can be purchased on the Web. They are rated as to quality, grade and price, and accompanied by suggested meals with which they are complementary.

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About the author (2003)

Rocky Aoki, a former Olympic wrestler, founded the Benihana restaurant chain after expanding his father's coffee shop into an international Japanese steakhouse. There are now nearly 100 Benihana restaurants worldwide. Rocky is also the proprietor of Haru, of which there are four restaurants in New York City, where he lives.

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