Thursday, September 23, 2010

Is Soy Sauce the New Wine? The Answer is at Fukuman Soy's Booth This Sunday!

There's a bar in Fukuoka whose walls are lined with bottles of every vintage and origin imaginable, all brewed to perfection. Except it's not alcohol in those bottles; it's soy sauce.

Bar Fukuman Soy Sauce is the modern reincarnation of the old company Fukuman Soy Sauce, which first opened in 1821 selling sold top-quality sauce to shops in Fukuoka. Closed for 50 years, it was resurrected in 2009 by the soy sauce sommelier Daichi Ohama, who continued making Fukuman soy sauce using its traditional recipes. The only thing he changed in the new Fukuman shop was that he established a bar devoted exclusively to to this essential Japanese condiment.

Educated in New York and Japan, Mr. Ohama worked for an IT company before a great inspiration about how much Japanese food culture was based on soy sauce motivated him to do something to change the current direction of Japanese food culture, which was moving towards an American tastes, back to one that emphasizes traditional Japanese principles. In Japanese cooking, salt, soy sauce and miso are used a lot. Soy sauce is one of the most basic yet versatile and complex ingredients in Japanese food.

The first soy sauce bar in the world, Bar Fukuman Soy Sauce sells the traditional Fukuman brand as well as offers tastings of more than 200 kinds of sauce from around the world. Like wine, this dark salty liquid comes in endless varieties, from different regions, and have different complexities in flavor. Soybeans and koji are the main ingredients in soy sauce, but it may have other grains mixed in and fermented for long periods of time for deeper flavors. Salty is the obvious taste of soy sauce, but it can also be sweet, sour, or bitter.

Fukuman Soy Sauce will be at the Soul Food Festival educating the public on the different kinds of soy and how to choose the right sauce to better enhance the color and flavor of your cooking.


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