Across the world, it is almost always true that the locally made beverage is a natural match with the local cuisine. Burgundy, for example, is the perfect companion to Burgundy’s foods, and this is so for the wines and foods of nearly every wine-producing region. It is also true for sake and Japanese cuisine: a meeting and melding of flavors and tastes.
But sake with Western cuisines? We drink sake hot, cold, in mixed drinks and in Japanese restaurants — not with a typical American meal. Yet as more sophisticated premium sakes arrive in the United States, it has become an intriguing question: Not simply, will sake go with this Western dish, but, as with wine, which sake will go with this dish?
Enter a group of Japanese farmers of Hokkaido Muumin Village and the sake brewery Takasago Shuzo, both on Hokkaido, Japan’s northernmost island. The farmers grew a rice called ginpuu, and from it the brewery made a traditional sake. They then invited an American chef, Christopher Lee, to come to Hokkaido to advise on how to adjust the sake to make it compatible with American foods. Among the changes Lee suggested: “Bring down the alcohol and give it familiar flavors, such as citrus.”
They named the new sake Iki, which in Japanese means a cool, chic, stylish lifestyle. And the taste? A fragrant, floral aroma; a whiff of citrus fruit; soft on the palate; relatively light in body; its 15.5 percent alcohol well integrated; a sake that does not fight the food. Indeed, it welcomed Chef Lee’s dishes.
Among those dishes were marinated salmon, scallop with black truffle, and braised beef with jalapeño and sesame aioli. The braised beef dish was a surprisingly good match with Iki. My favorite, though, was Iki with crispy pork belly, wasabi peas and sweet potato cakes. Who would have thought?
This is Iki’s introductory year. In each following year, a different American chef will be invited to adapt Iki to American cuisine and the American palate.
As the song from Fiddler on the Roof goes, “Matchmaker, matchmaker, make me a match, find me a find …”. The farmers and brewers of Hokkaido, with Christopher Lee’s help, have found us a match in cool, chic Iki.
On Location Experiences makes it easy for travelers to head to London or Mexico City for upcoming NFL games. Tottenham Hotspur Stadium hosts the Chicago Bears and Oakland Raiders Oct. 6, and the Carolina Panthers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers Oct. 13; Wembley Stadium hosts the Cincinnati Bengals and Los Angeles Rams Oct. 27, and the Houston Texans and Jacksonville Jaguars Nov. 3; and Estadio Azteca hosts the Kansas City Chiefs and Los Angeles Chargers Nov. 18.
United Airlines announces a number of new routes.
TAP Air Portugal is adding 15 new weekly flights from the United States and Canada by summer 2020, a new record for the carrier of 71 weekly flights between North America and Portugal.
Marriott recently launched its Marriott Bonvoy Events platform; the new site is a tool for meeting and event planners that takes the place of the former Meetings Imagined. The platform provides detailed information about properties, tailored to planners’ needs, with insights and information about the meeting planning industry.
Welcome to Rhodes, a medieval treasure beautifully preserved throughout the centuries. Rhodes is the capital of the Dodecanese, an island ideal not only for those who want to relax, but also for those looking for an action-packed holiday! With its bright green hills, rich green valleys and uninterrupted line of golden beaches, Rhodes is truly a blessed place. “The sun island” has more sunshiny days and milder temperatures throughout the year than any other location in Greece. It is, after all, one of the country’s easternmost places and among the first to welcome summer on its impressive beaches. Add in the excellent facilities for tourism, the island’s special blend of cosmopolitan and traditional, and numerous cultural and archaeological sites, the most important being the Medieval (Old) Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and you’ve got the perfect holiday destination. While on Rhodes, don’t miss a daytrip to nearby Sými. An island of sponge divers and seamen, Sými used to have 30,000 inhabitants before the Second World War and was the richest island in the Dodecanese, despite its small size. Today, Sými attracts many visitors thanks to its beautifully preserved Neo-Classical buildings and the famous Archangel Michael monastery at Panormitis.