A series of sake to pair with the world’s cuisine. This time, I would like to explore the pairing of sake with Spanish food! Spanish cuisine refers to dishes unique to Spain and is well known for its food of the Iberian Peninsula and Mediterranean seafood. In 2010, it was listed as an intangible cultural heritage of UNESCO as a meal of the Mediterranean. Strictly speaking, each region has its own characteristics and the variety is enormous. Since Spain’s climate, natural features, culture, and customs are so varied between regions, the ingredients and the way they are prepared to vary so much that they virtually cannot be grouped together as a single Spanish dish. There is even a saying to describe it: “Wherever you go in Spain, all you’ll find is wine, orchata and quajada (yogurt in an unglazed jar). On the contrary, there is wine everywhere. Even French cuisine, where wine & food pairing is essential, is becoming more and more popular with sake these days, and Spanish food can be paired with sake too! In this article, I would like to focus on the general framework of Spanish cuisine and consider only some of them.
What I would like to introduce to you this time is, after all, paella. Paella is a dish in which rice is cooked in a soup with vegetables, seafood, and meat, and is very popular all over the world. In the Valencia region, the home of paella, they even have a paella festival!
The number one reason to focus on paella is that it is made of rice. Sake is made from rice. I figured that rice-based sake and rice-based food would go well together!
Paella is a dish in which rice is cooked in a broth full of flavorful ingredients, so the depth of flavor is outstanding. Since it usually has a zesty taste of spices, you’ll want to choose a strong, heavy-tasting sake! I recommend pairing it with a firm-bodied junshu or jukushu since it seems not to be a good match for it as the delicate aroma of sake is lost in the spices and the sweetness is pronounced.
・Paella arrangement to go better with sake!
Paella is a perfectly delicious dish on its own, but the best part of the pairing is the harmony between the food and the sake. So, let’s learn how to make paella at home, which is easy to match with sake.
Its name is Japanese Paella. The soup is just a soy sauce base, seasoned with white dashi and pepper. It is made with salmon, squid, shrimp, and other fish and shellfish that go well with Japanese food, and vegetables such as onions and leeks.
It’s very tasty, showing a paella-like yet Japanese flavor!
The Paella with Sake, I hope you will try it, too.