When I tried explaining Japanese sake to my overseas friends, I quickly learned how ignorant I really was. “To teach is to learn.” How true! I didn’t know the difference between “daiginjo” and “junmai-daiginjo.” It’s embarrassing for me to say that, even though I’m living here in Hokuriku, a center of sake brewing. I had heard of “hi-ire,” “hiya-oroshi,” “nama-zake,” and “muroka,” but I found out that I didn’t know the real meaning.

After studying up, I wanted to put my new knowledge to the test, so I went over to Izakaya Musashi, which has a rich inventory of Japanese sake. I wanted to better understand the subtleties of “nama-zake” and the junmai-daiginjo called “Yoshida Kura.” With more knowledge, the taste is a little different. Along with the sake I had a serving of “hatahata,” a small, shiny fish with a characteristic taste and texture. I also ordered pork ribs roasted over open flames. I like the way the pork drips and splatters fat when it’s roasted, something I can’t do at home. To finish up, I had my usual “zosui,” which is always delicious.

I’ll try writing an explanation of sake for foreigners in a few days. Check back again later!