France is known for its discerning choice when it comes to food and beverage. Wine is always present at every gathering, and the best of its kind is known to come from France. Though wine consumption in the country may not be overthrown, Japanese sake is making its name in Paris with increasing patrons.
Sake, made from fermented rice, has drawn Parisians through the frequency of wine tastings in The City of Light. Toshiro Kuroda, who has lived in France for 40 years, is credited for promoting sake in the country. He claims to have introduced sake to about 50,000 people in France, including award-winning actor Gerard Depardieu, who even hosted a sake-tasting in his home. “When I started seven or eight years ago,” Kuroda said during a sake fair in Paris, “nobody was doing tastings of the famous sakes. [Now] there is a growing interest [in sake].”
Unlike before, sake is now available in Paris because of sake bars. Wine merchants have also included the Japanese wine in their inventory. Kuroda has 60 brands of sake in his shop where sake-tastings are organized. The sake champion is now no longer alone in promoting sake. Youlin Ly, the director of Paris-based Sake Bar, is one of the co-organizers of the first Sake Tasting exhibit in Paris last month. “The aim of the sake tasting fair is that people get a clearer idea of sake,” Ly said.
One of the pieces of advice given by the organizers of the event to anyone who hasn’t tried sake is to clear their head of preconceived ideas. “As with anything that is new, you must forget your preconceived ideas,” said Sylvain Huet, one of the co-organizers of Sake Tasting 2013. The Brewers’ Association of Japanese Sake has acknowledged Huet’s expertise in sake and has given him the title of ‘sake samurai.’ Albeit being French, Huet is dedicated to the promotion of sake. “We have to educate people about sake,” he said.
[via The Star Online]