Kanazawa and its environs are lucky to have so many choices for eating and drinking. Amongst them is Kifujin, an ordinary but well-known eel and “dojo” (loach fish) restaurant located in Nakahashi. Kifujin is known by most people for its curry rice, but I find the eel and “dojo” more attractive. Today the woman in charge said she had some “Sanshoraku no Kuradashi,” an unblended sake, so I had that too.

For those not used to “dojo,” they may seem a little grotesque, but the smell of the “dojo,” and the smell of the “gobo” (burdock) cancel each other out leaving an indescribable flavor. This could well be one of the secrets of the Japanese food culture. Or maybe not.

By the way, “Sanshoraku” is a sake brewery in Gokayama in the mountains of Toyama. Since this type of sake has no added water, it’s normal for it to have an alcohol content over 18%. “Nama” sake means that it’s not heat treated. Usually sake is heated twice to kill bacteria and stop fermentation, but “nama” sake is supposed to have a fresher taste because it isn’t heat treated. “Nama” unblended sake has no added water and is not heat treated. That’s why it tastes great and has an extra alcoholic punch.

“Nama” unblended sake goes perfectly with a pot of Yanagawa “dojo” stew.