Over the next couple weeks (yes, we’ll be going weekly for a short stint!) we’ll deviate a bit from our standard format, but that’s because we have something special lined up!
The fine folks at Aoyama Sake Flea, the bi-annual celebration of sake and craft culture, hosted in collaboration with Tokyo’s iconic Farmers Market @ UNU (United Nations University), reached out to the Sake On Air crew to see if we might be interested in hosting a few live shows at the festival.
You had us at “Sake”. (And “Festival”!)
Hosting four live recordings over two days, we brought in a number of really fascinating guests, both brewers, as well as those championing sake through a number of unique and different avenues all their own.
This week, we’re sending you the first 2 sessions from day one of the festival. For the first half of the show we’re joined by Masaki Yamada, events coordinator for the Farmers Market @ UNU, along with Akiko Shibata, president of Tokyo Sake-ten and head of business development for Niigata sake producer, Myoko Shuzo. Together we explore the nature of the farmers market in Tokyo and its role in bringing people together with sake producers and creating a culture around sake for a new generation. Now in its 9th incarnation, Aoyama Sake Flea is now gearing up for its round 10, scheduled for March 30-31 in 2019 – and they’d love to integrate international brewers and artisans for the next round! To all those championing sake abroad, listen up on how you might be able to take part in one of Tokyo’s most homegrown, community driven sake festival that puts the producers at the forefront.
For the second segment, we’re joined by none other than the talented and inspiring Nancy Singleton Hachisu, author of the recently released, Japan: The Cookbook, as well as the game-changing, Japanese Farm Food, and the lifestyle staple, Preserving the Japanese Way. We managed to coax her away from the farm (and work on her next book!) in Saitama to join us for a mid-day “Kampai!” to discuss, not only her new book and recent projects, but primarily how she views the role of sake in cooking. Now when we say “sake”, remember that in Japan, “sake” refers to all varieties of alcohol. For our purposes, we focus primarily on the sake that our listeners all know and love, as well as spend a good amount of time delving into the magic of mirin, as well. Not to mention the delicious and versatile offshoots from the world of sake, such as sake-kasu, amazake, rice koji, as well as sake crafted specifically for culinary purposes.
Links for some of the products and producers that Nancy mentions are below:
– Great “ryori-shu”, or, additive-free and naturally brewed “cooking sake”, like this one from Okidaikichi Honten, makers of the fantastic Shizengo line of sake. (Sorry, not much English info available…)
Part 1: Farmers Market & Aoyama Sake Flea (w/ Akiko Shibata & Masaki Yamada)
Part 2: Bettering our Food with Sake (w/ Nancy Singleton Hachisu)
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