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It is known as sake to one alcoholic beverage made with rice . For its production, it is done ferment This cereal That is why sake is also often mentioned as came from rice .

We must clarify, however, that in the world western Sake is called beverages with different characteristics that have their origin in common in Asia . That is why it is difficult to establish a single definition of what we understand by this term.

In the broadest sense, we can say that sake is an alcoholic beverage that is made with rice grains. Its obtaining requires the fermentation of rice from the action of various mushrooms .

Typically, a type of rice is used whose starch It is concentrated in the center of the grains. Sake making requires removing protein and the fats surrounding the starch for which the appeal to grinding .

Once the rice grain is ground, the production de sake continues with a washed of rice and cook it at steam . The process continues with the pressing , the filtration and the pasteurization of the product, while the yeast is responsible for fermentation.

The sake can be drunk hot, at room temperature or cold. Japanese tradition grants certain ritual uses to sake; it is even used in the tea ceremony to accompany different foods. Other options, which are popular especially in the countries Westerners, they are drinking sake to accompany the sushi or by way of appetizer .

Sake history

While the document has not yet been documented history of sake, there are many theories about its origin, so it is interesting to study them all, since each one provides unique data. On the one hand, some people say that rice cooking took place first in China, approximately 4800 BC. C. in the surroundings of the Yangtze River, and then this method came to Japan, something that is not difficult to believe since the Japanese also adopted part of the Chinese alphabet, for example.

Another theory says that it all started in Japan around 200, together with the advent of wet rice cultivation : combining this cereal with water resulted in fermentation and mold. The first known version of sake was called kuchikami no sake, which in Spanish can be translated as "chewable sake", and was made with rice to chew, millet, acorns and chestnuts. It is worth mentioning that one of the key ingredients of this recipe was the saliva of the person who prepared it, since it had to chew some of the products and then spit them in a barrel, so that the enzymes became sugar starch

This mixture should be left to ferment naturally, and this resulted in a sake with little alcohol content , which would be ingested as porridge. As a curious fact, the aborigines of America also used this method.

Continuing with the supposed antecedents of sake, already in the fourteenth century BC. C., several Chinese inscriptions mention a millet wine that was made in the same way and used as offerings to the gods during certain sacred rituals. A few hundred years later, around 800 a. C., a Chinese rice wine called mǐ jǐu whose recipe It was practically identical to that of the sake became very popular.

When the Japanese discovered mold Aspergillus oryzae, whose enzymes allowed to convert the sugar into starch of rice, it was no longer necessary to chew the rice. This ingredient is also used in the preparation of soy sauce, miso and amazake, among other products. It is important to note that in this way the alcoholic content of sake increases considerably.

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