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Shochu article in the NY Times


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Shochu article in the NY Times

Eric Eto | Jan 4, 2006 07:43 PM

I responded to this comment on the Boston board, after a post motivated from the NY Times article in today's dining section.

"Shochu is commonly regarded as the cheap version of nihonshu"

This is a common misconception, especially among older Japanese who associate shochu as a cheap form of alcohol. For many like my father and uncle, shochu was the cheapest and strongest alcohol widely available in the postwar period, and they have too strong an association that they won't drink it. But, as the NY Times article shows, shochu is a highly aritisanal product, and there are connoissures who appreciate high-quality products like the honkaku shochu. Unfortunately, there's not much available in the US. It's changing slowly, but most of the market is dominated with the big-name factory made stuff. Satsuma Shiranami is the main imo-jochu that's widely available.

I've been learning more about shochu as I travel in Japan, and it's helpful to have a cousin who's aspiring to be a shochu sommelier. In this month's Dancyu magazine (in Japanese), there's a feature on a shochu from Hokkaido made from shiso, and the foods that go with it.

Here are a few websites with more information on shochu.

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