Thursday, August 14, 2008

Folsom Sake Brewery Blues


I bought this baby at a Chinese grocery on Olive yesterday.
My alcoholic beverage smarts is pretty sparse, and I was trying to figure out what sake to buy (I called my mother for advice, and she did not pick up.) by looking at the labels. In store, I realized that this sake was brewed in Folsom, California. Funny thing happened, I almost put it back on the shelf because it was weird for me to buy Japanese alcohol brewed in California.
A lot of this thought process stems from the idea of authenticity of food items that are prevalent in many cultures; certain kinds of snacks come from one area of the country (or the world), and some alcoholic beverages are only made in that town, etc. Most of that relies on the climate or geography to grow the raw materials for the goods, and also cultural history of how these foods and food systems developed in that region.
I decided to buy the sake, because California makes a whole bunch of rice and has a good climate, and California probably has a whole bunch of Japanese sake-brewers (I really don't know how many you need to start a brewery), and that's why they can make this sake there. I went to their website:
"Why was Folsom selected? Just as Fushimi was "discovered" centuries ago, Folsom was found to offer just the right conditions: high quality water and an abundance of rice- the perfect setting for a skilled brewmaster backed by over three and a half centuries of experience."
The authenticity of food clashes with the idea of eating local, because I think a lot of people would want to have all sorts of fun eats but want to cut back on importing food from far far away. In this case, there is no importing, and the bottle travels half the distance that it would've if imported. It's kind of related to Missouri wine-making, where people are trying new things to grow on familiar land. The authenticity of the sake is still questionable for me, but it is a California sake fo sho.

Does anyone want to talk about Folsom Prison?

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