THE GOCHISO GOURMET: The grain that binds us

What is the one constant not just during Oshogatsu but throughout the whole year? It’s not toshikoshi soba (buckwheat noodles), which is usually only consumed right before the turning of the new year. Sure, we may consume soba during the year, but not with any regularity. And it’s not lobster or shrimp that symbolizes a […]

THE GOCHISO GOURMET: Tiny Bubbles …

“In the wine … Make me happy … Make me feel fine …” Since we’re well into the holiday season, what better beverage to celebrate with than Champagne? From a well-aged tête de cuvé like Cristal or Dom Perignon to the minerality of a Blanc de Blanc to the richness of a Blanc de Noir […]

CARRYING ON A TRADITION: The history of the festival’s portable shrines

Every year, one of the Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival’s biggest highlights is the taru mikoshi, one of the entrants in the Grand Parade. The mikoshi is a portable Shinto shrine, which a deity is believed to inhabit. Legend has it that shaking the shrine spreads its blessing. The San Francisco Taru Mikoshi Ren leads […]

Northern Japan’s fancy foods

Some 17,000 attendees swarmed the 1,300 companies that exhibited across 206,000 square feet of San Francisco’s expansive Moscone Center during the Winter Fancy Food Show. The specialty foods trade show, now in its 37th year, was held from Jan. 15 to 17. The National Association for Specialty Food Trade (NASFT) is a New York-based nonprofit currently celebrating […]

THE GOCHISO GOURMET: In the ‘Iron Chef’s’ domain

If not for a shoulder injury many moons ago, we might be watching Masaharu Morimoto swinging a baseball bat instead of deftly slicing sashimi. As a foodie, I’m thankful that he took the path of sushi and sashimi instead of besuboru. Morimoto opened his Hawai‘i outpost, Morimoto Waikiki (1775 Ala Moana Blvd., Honolulu, HI 96815; […]

MIYAGI FOOD: Healthy, delicious and safe

Since the tragic earthquake and tsunami that devastated Japan’s Tohoku region more than eight months ago, Japan has seen substantial decreases in foreign tourism. Many areas directly affected by the disaster are also experiencing decreased domestic and foreign sales of local food products amid concerns for radiation safety. The Consulate General of Japan in San […]

Something new at Sake San Jose in Japantown

SAN JOSE — Have you ever wondered, “What kind of food goes with cold sake?” The answer was clear at the sixth annual Sake San Jose fundraising event for Yu-Ai Kai Japanese American Community Senior Service, held May 26. The event, which supports the nonprofit’s Healthy Aging Initiative and various programs, is a regular crowd […]

BOOK REVIEW: Delicious Drinks, Impossible Ingredients

JAPANESE COCKTAILS: MIXED DRINKS WITH SAKE, SHOCHU, WHISKEY, AND MORE By Yuri Kato (San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 2010, 96 pp., $14.95, hardcover) Despite the fact that Japanese people have an entire culture based on enkai (partying with drunken revelry), the traditional crowd of Japanese, no matter how free flowing the alcohol is, relies on a […]

Sake Supports Senior Services at San Jose’s Yu-Ai Kai

SAN JOSE — What is the “make merriest” time of year in San Jose’s Japantown? Is it Christmas? Is it Obon? Is it Nikkei Matsuri? No…it’s Sake San Jose, hands down! Despite the bouts of showers, on May 27, the crowds thickened and the lines grew long as the throng waited for tickets in the […]

THE GOCHISO GOURMET: Almost Sake

What is almost saké? Is it cheap saké that you purchased several years ago to use for cooking that has turned a healthy dose of brown? Nope. That’s past saké. Is it pure rice-based Shochu? Not really, that’s more like saké on steroids. What about these Asian inspired martinis that combine flavored vodka and saké? […]

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