Have you ever wondered why certain foods and drinks go together effortlessly, like fine wine and cheese? When it comes to flavor, there's something magical to specific combinations and pairings.
The Japanese refer to this synergy of flavors as umami, which signals to our taste buds that beneficial nutrients, mainly proteins, are about to be consumed.
There are multiple ways to achieve umami, and one of the most popular ways the Japanese have is a pairing of sake with seafood. Seafood contains inosinic acid as well as (good) fatty content that allows the umami-enhancing effect to happen at an unparalleled level.
For those who haven't had the delight of yet experiencing and tasting sake, it's a Japanese alcoholic beverage with a history spanning thousands of years. Because sake is made by fermenting rice, it is sometimes referred to as Japanese rice wine.
However, unlike wine, the brewing process for sake is actually more similar to beer. Also, because of the unique brewing process, sake has an alcohol by volume between 14% and 16%.
As a traditional Japanese beverage, sake has commonly been paired with sushi to achieve that delectable umami that sends your taste buds celebrating. However, this umami of the seafood and sake pairing isn't just limited to sushi, but all types of seafood!
Luckily for all the explorers of taste and flavor, a new gastronomic venture aims to show that sake can be much more than you might have thought. Bet you've never realized that even fish tacos can create this abundant burst of umami flavor when paired with sake.
JFOODO, which works to introduce delicious Japanese food products and experiences to a global audience, has found a new way to bring the magic of umami to New York City this winter.
Starting December 8th, New Yorkers can pick up a perfectly paired meal at Restaurant Unlocked To Go crafted by Chef Johan Svensson, complete with a complimentary sake bottle to give your meal the ultimate umami.
You'll also get to try out a Kura Trip, which will take you on a virtual journey on how to best enjoy your bento box by scanning the QR code on the sake bottle.
As concerns of social distance and limited gatherings continue to affect the world, JFOODO and Chef Svensson hope to introduce a novel way to experience seafood and sake. You'll pick up your pre-ordered bento box meal in a specially-constructed food locker that can be accessed contact-free to ensure safe conditions.
Umami is an experience of flavor and taste that's difficult to translate into English fully. Yet, like all things delightful in life, the best way to understand it is to experience it.
The opportunity to experience can be yours with a perfectly paired bento box from Restaurant Unlocked To Go when it pops up on the first floor of Hudson Yard on the West Side of Midtown on Tuesday, December 8th through Sunday, December 13th.
Keep up to date with their opening and find out more information here. Most importantly, prepare to have your taste buds experience a whole new world of flavor!