Excite News reports that Kurand Sake Market started offering a new "sophisticated" dessert from 14 November 2017, drowning vanilla ice cream in warm sake - nihonshu affogato, a variation on the familiar coffee-based dessert.

The dessert will be available at all their branches (Ikebukuro, Ueno, Shibuya, Shinjuku, Omiya, Funabashi) and included in their all-you-can-drink tasting plan (JPY 3,240 including tax). Kurand have selected three sakes from their selection of 100 to serve hot with the dessert: 

  • Their own Kurand Craft Project Ichidan-jikomi junmai, extremely sweet like honey and lemon, with melon notes. Recommended serving temperature 65°C. Serving it with ice cream gives a good balance of sweetness and acidity.
  • Their own I LOVE CHOCO. Made to go with chocolate, matured and smoky. Its smoke notes and body bring out the sweetness of the ice cream. Recommended serving temperature 20°C or 40°C.
  •  Mikadomatsu ginjō aged for 10 years in an earthen storehouse. Balanced and with soft mouthfeel, it has just the right amount of smokiness and gentle sweetness.

I was particularly interested to see the name of the first one - I had heard of sandan-jikomi (三段仕込み, the three-stage building of the main sake fermentation), but not ichidan-jikomi (一段仕込み). It was just what it looked like - a single-stage operation where all the ingredients are added at once. According to the Kurand site, this process was used in the Edo period but later abandoned because it was labour-intensive and carried a high risk of spoilage. However, it also uses about half as much water as the sandan-jikomi method, concentrating the umami and giving robust sweetness and acidity.

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