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Escape the Ordinary: Interactive Japanese Sake Pop Up to Launch in London Celebrating Sake from World Sake Day onwards through October

Pop Up Tasting Menus with Sake and Seafood this October 2019

The Japan Food Product Overseas Promotion Center (hereafter JFOODO) is delighted to announce an exciting London pop-up celebrating Sake & Seafood in October. World Sake Day on the 1st October announces the start of this exciting month of Sake.

Starting from 24th October for an exclusive 3 days, JFOODO are collaborating with London’s iconic seafood restaurant, The Oystermen Seafood Bar & Kitchen. Taking place in POPUP restaurant “Restaurant Paired”, in Shoreditch, JFOODO and The Oystermen will celebrate Japanese Sake as the best alcoholic beverage to enhance the taste of seafood by offering a new pairing menu.

Throughout the three day pop up, Japanese Sake Sommelier and Sake Expert will be inviting the public to experience a selection of authentic Japanese sakes alongside an expertly paired seafood tasting menu. This pop-up will also offer the opportunity to learn the etiquette and history behind sake tasting.
JFOODO hopes to break the stereotype “seafood goes well with white wine” and instead wants to encourage the pairing of Japanese sake with seafood instead. Sake is both a beverage and an expression of Japanese identity. It embodies craftsmanship, innovation and versatility.

For the past 2,000 years, its creators have harnessed nature and science to craft a brew that has developed hand-in-hand with Japan’s unique culinary traditions. Once confined to Japanese menus, sake is becoming the drink of choice for lovers of fish and shellfish.
Escape the Ordinary

Through their three-day POPUP, JFOODO in collaboration with The Oystermen is proud to offer visitors the chance to ‘Escape the Ordinary’ through the ‘fresh harmony of Seafood and Sake’. JFOODO believes people deserve to experience more than the ‘ordinary’; what makes them comfortable. Seafood and sake does just that and offers a superior seafood experience when compared with the typical seafood and white wine pairing with enhanced flavours.
As part of this “Escape the Ordinary –The fresh harmony of Seafood and Sake” concept, visitors will not only enjoy a regular ‘seafood and white wine’ pairing but will also enjoy a new ‘seafood and sake’ experience. This mirroring structure will illustrate the contrast between The Oystermen’s ‘ordinary’ seafood and white wine pairing with the fresh and exciting ‘Escape the Ordinary’ concept, with an expert sake sommelier to recommend an excellent beverage pairing.
Sake and Seafood
As a drink, sake evolved alongside Washoku (Japanese cuisine), which aims to bring out the best in the raw ingredients used to make it. From a historical perspective, Japan has always been a seafood-focused country. Whether you’re by the sea or in the mountains, sake and seafood are served together all over Japan.
It is unsurprising that the Japanese have always paired sake with seafood rather than wine. Now, as exports of sake hit ¥22.2 billion (approx £160 million) in 2018, it is clear that diners across the globe are increasingly discovering Japan’s national drink and why it complements fish so well.  
The key to sake’s popularity is its ability to bring out the natural flavours of seafood, while remaining non-reactive to potentially unpleasant scents and smells. Wine grapes absorb iron from the soil and many winemakers use sulfites as preservatives, as such wine can react badly with seafood, resulting in fish-like odours. In contrast, sake brewers are prohibited from using sulfites, and any iron is filtered out of the water or removed when brewers polish the rice grains.

Additionally, according to Dr. Hitoshi Utsunomiya, the director of the Sake and Food Lab and sake expert at Japan’s National Research Institute of Brewing, sake has two-to-five times more amino acids than wine. Amino acids translate to savoury, umami flavours, therefore making sake a natural pairing with all seafood dishes such as umami-rich-seafood dishes, Spanish classics including sardines stewed with tomatoes and clam chowder, an American staple.
World Sake Day – 1st October 2019
World Sake Day or “Nihonshu no Hi” is a significant day on the Japanese calendar. The celebrations are held annually on 1 October as the beginning of the 10th month signifies sake’s ‘New Year’s Day.’ This tradition started in 1978 and has become a day that Japanese people look forward to because it not only recognises sake and its contributions to Japanese culture but commemorates its history and numerous skilled brewers. World Sake Day was declared and recognised by the Japan Sake Brewers Association.
In Japan, sake is known as “the drink of the gods”. With its diverse flavour profiles and flexible serving temperature, Japan’s national beverage is increasingly rivalling wine on the global culinary stage.

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