Monday, March 21, 2011

Tsunoki sake, Nishiki market, Kyoto (津之喜酒舗)

Nishiki Market, 'Kyoto's Kitchen'. Or if you ask a local, 'kitschy Kyoto' and "locals get their food at supermarkets nowadays". Way fun to walk around in any case - touristy stuff is fun when you're a tourist. It's true that you can sense the tourist veneer on everything, but that's not a big deal. Embrace it.

Also, embrace the liquor store towards the West end of the market. It's really cool. I'm not interested in the evidently-very-good racks of Japanese whiskey, nor the shochu. I have a passing interest in things like the fresh tangerine liquor (at home in the fridge now), a little more interest in the high-end soy sauce and other cooking provisions, and I am definitely and firmly interested in the sake. Of which there is a lot.

The shelves of room-temperature sake are nice and all, but for novice drinkers like me who can't appreciate the refinement that comes from pasteurization, the fridge is the thing. This is where the nama / fresh / raw / unpasteurized stuff lives, and the thing that made me cry like a spanked child was the rack of Furosen at the bottom - really not available in Tokyo. As you may have noticed from my 2-nights-running revisitation of the world's best Furosen bar, Zen, I like this stuff. On the first night, I told the owner "Just give me a whole course of Furosen." I would assume that the presence at Tsunoki of a big range of Matsu no Tsukasa is also a good recommendation; that's not uncommon in Tokyo, and I'll be looking for some when next I go out. [Which is, errrr, tonight, as I write this.]

Nice place. Worth a browse.

I also see that Kyoto Foodie has done a better writeup than I could, so you might as well read that too if you're interested. I learned some stuff from it - especially why there was a dolly full of guitars and amps in the middle of the store.

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