Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Shirataki Sake Brewery Co., Ltd, Japan, Sake Made Right

Orlando, Fla.--Soon you won't need to fly to Japan to taste delicious sake (rice wine). Shirataki Sake Brewery Co., Ltd. gave out samples of their delicious tasting sake at this year's Florida Restaurant and Lodging Show, held in Orlando, Florida. Shirataki Sake Brewery, who started business in 1855, said most of the sake served in American restaurants is of poorer quality than theirs.

Shirataki Sake Brewery Co., Ltd, Jozen Sake (rice wine), Florida
Restaurant & Lodging Show, Orlando, Fla.
Copyright 2017 by Helen A Lockey
They say that to make excellent sake you need excellent water because finished sake is 80 percent water. Their sake starts with pure water sourced from melted snow off the mountains around their brewery.

High quality sake also depends on the type of rice grain used, according to Hide Hashizume, International Sales Manager. They buy all their rice directly from farms Uonuma, inside the Niigata prefecture. This area is known for its high-quality rice, grown with pure, melted, mountain snow run-off water that is full of minerals.

According to the company president Shintaro Takahashi, who talked to me through a translator, for many decades they used to use wild captured yeast in their sake but this led to inconsistent products. Now they grow their own yeast in-house so the wine will retain a consistent taste batch after batch.

In the traditional style of making sake (junmai), they use short grain, sticky rice (sakamai), pure water, mold (koji, essential for converting the rice to sugar) and domesticated yeast to make their rice wine. And the results are remarkable.

I have not liked sake in the past, but after trying Shirataki's sake I fell in love. I especially liked the Uonuma Nojun, an 80 percent polished, aged dry style sake, served cold from a blue bottle. It's aged two-years in steel tanks. And the aromas that are released are savory with an almost clean earthy essence.

Jozen Junmai Gingo, a 55 percent polished sake had sweeter taste profiles and aromas of spring flowers, and tastes of pear, vanilla and slight tropical fruit.  It was served cold from a a red bottle.

Unfortunately, these saki are not yet available in any restaurants but one is available through Westchester Wine Warehouse in White Plains, New York. You can find and buy a 300 ml sized bottle of Uonuma Nojun for $9.99 online at www.westchesterwine.com
, and by typing in the keyword Jozen in the search box.

Shirataki Sake Brewery Co., Ltd., is looking for more distribution companies to carry their wine so that more Japanese restaurants can carry it and more people can buy a bottle.  "We want American public to drink at home, like wine," said Takahashi.

To find out more about distribution opportunities or other sales opportunities please contact Hide Hashizume at (914) 582-5943 or email him at hidehashizume@gmail.com

Saturday, September 30, 2017

El Solar Dehydrator, Sustainable Kashi Ashram, Sebastian, Fla.

There's a large solar-powered food dehydrator in Sebastian, Florida. It is located on the 80-acre property of Sustainable Kasha Ashram. The Ashram has existed for over 35 years and only recently started a permaculture project, headed up by the children of the original founder of the Kasha Ashram. Their project is aimed at having year-round producing gardens, a food forest, and edible products from their animals like milk, cheese and eggs.

Sustainable Kashi Permaculture project,
Slow Food Gold & Treasure Coast Farm Tour,
Kashi Ashram, Sebastian, Fla.
Copyright 2017 by Helen A Lockey
Back in February, of this year I went on a tour of the facility with several members of Slow Food Gold And Treasure Coast chapter. We were all participating in a self-driven farm tour day.

Worm casting fertilizer, Sustainable Kashi Permaculture project,
Slow Food Gold & Treasure Coast chapter Farm Tour,
Kashi Ashram, Sebastian, Fla.
Copyright 2017 by Helen A Lockey
Sustainable Kashi grows most of the food they eat using permaculture practices that emulate natural growing conditions as mush as possible. They do this by using compost, and worm casting teas for fertilization, natural pest controls like neem oil, hand weeding, and symbiotic plantings like placing bananas and sweet potatoes side-by-side (the potatoes capture nitrogen for the bananas and the potatoes vines grow up the bananas stalks).

To make the most of what they grow, because sometimes they grow more they can eat and sell, they dehydrate their produce in their outdoor solar powered dehydrator. They named it El Solar Dehydrator.

El Solar Dehydrator, Sustainable Kashi Permaculture project,
Slow Food Gold & Treasure Coast chapter Farm Tour,
Kashi Ashram, Sebastian, Fla. Copyright 2017 by Helen A Lockey
The dehydrator is triangular in shape looking slightly like a plastic vending machine sandwich container. However this container is made out of wood and glass and stands over five feet in height.

Inside are several movable screen-trays where fresh produce can be placed. On one side is a sloping pane of glass with air vents both at the bottom and top. The lower vents let in cool air and the upper ones let out sun-heated, moisture-rich air. Temperatures inside the dehydrator can get as high as 120 degrees Fahrenheit even on a cloudy, cool day. So it is necessary that the air constantly be moving and through the wonder of physics it does because cool air when heated always rises.

This means that without any outside power source the fruits, vegetables, herbs and berries that are placed on the movable trays can have their moisture wicked away from them in a matter of hours and they can be transformed into flavor rich, edible morsels.

During the Florida growing season (October to May approximately) you can buy Sustainable Kashi produce at a on-property market the 2nd Sunday of each month.

You can find out more about Sustainable Kashi or go to their Facebook page.

Or you can visit them at 11155 Rosalind Rd., Sebastian, FL 32958
Phone (321) 445-1395

To find out more about Slow Food Gold And Treasure Coast Farm Tour and other events go to http://www.slowfoodgtc.org/about.html

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Surf ‘N Suds Soap Company, Florida Microbreweries Supporter & More

Palm Beach County, Fla.—Surf ‘N Suds makes soap out of beer and more. Owner Majorie Shedd is passionate about supporting local breweries. I met Shedd last year at the PGA National Craft Beer Festival where they had Goose Island IPA beer soap for sale at $7 a bar.

Surf 'N Suds Soap Company's Goose IPA beer soap, Palm Beach County, Fla.
Copyright 2016 by Helen A Lockey
Surf ‘N Suds Soap Company attends a lot of south Florida beer festivals.

Their Goose Island IPA beer soap had whole hops sticking out the top of the bar. It smelt a little like the IPA and definitely had the citrusy scent of hops to it.

Surf ‘N Suds Soap Company has over five Florida based microbrewery beer infused bar soaps, beard oils and lotions in their collection. If you don’t want beer in your soap you can buy Sober Soap, beard oils, body lotions without beer. Or you can look at a small selection of rum infused products.

Surf ‘N Suds does more than support local breweries. Recently they stopped using Palm Oil in their soaps for ethical and environmental reasons.

They have two very compelling videos on their site explaining why they no longer use Palm Oil in their products. 

One video features Leo DiCaprio (“Before The Flood,” Nov 2016) that runs for 5 minutes 12 seconds, and the other video with Harris Ford (“Year of Living Dangerously,” Aug 2017) runs for 6 minutes 8 seconds. Both explain the hazards of the Palm Oil industry to the environment. 

These videos will change your mind about buying products that contain Palm Oil.

Surf 'N Suds products range in price from $7 for bar soap to $12 for beard oils and lotions.

You can see the full range of Surf 'N Suds Company products on their website https://www.surfnsudsfl.com/for-body or on their Facebook page

Or you can call Marjorie She'd at Surf 'N Suds at (561) 289-0488