Tag Archives: 920 The Voice

Sake Wisdom & I’m on the Radio AND in the News

Sake and the City, or Everything You Ever Wanted to Know but Were Afraid to Ask

Sake-and-the-City-2 posterBefore attending the guided sake tasting and subsequent walk-around sampling at this cleverly named event in NYC, I knew about as much as the average American about this brew. I was familiar with the 3 basic types (junmai, ginjo, daiginjo). I knew that good sake should never be warmed. I enjoyed drinking sake with sushi.

Of course, like fine wines, there are endless facets and nuances to sake, which is one of the oldest fermented beverages in human history. So what I didn’t know could fill a cedar barrel, which, it turns out, is what some sakes are aged in. Here are just a few of the nuggets I took away, many from Timothy Sullivan of Urban Sake, who led the guided tasting:

  • Since sake consists basically of water, rice, and the koji mold, the quality of the water plays a key role. Water from a fast-running snow melt is the best, since it’s soft and low in minerality. Yuki No Bosha Junmai Yamahai is one example.
  • Just as in other areas of food & drink, local and organic translate into a premium product. Many different rice varieties are used to make sake, but those indigenous to the brewery’s region (prefecture) and grown organically often result in superior product. One of many examples: Daishichi Shizenshu Jumai Kimoto
  • Kimoto (as in the above) is something you might want to look for on a label. It refers to an ancient method that allows lactic acid to develop naturally “along with funky organisms,” according to Sake Samurai Sullivan.
  • Even more important is how finely the rice as been ground down/polished, which removes imperfections. Sake is classified by the percentage that the rice has been polished. The highest percentage of milling I noted that day was 75%, for Murai Nigori Genshu, which Sullivan termed “a piece of work.”
  • Alcohol content can range from about 7.5% to 25% – or at least that was the range in Sullivan’s picks. Weighing in at 25% is one of his particular recommendations, Minato “Harbor” Nama Genshu, which he described as “very full bodied.”
  • Sake pairs with a wide range of foods – including Wagyu beef, like the “bone dry” (Sullivan’s words) Kan Nihonkai Cho +15. Check out the pairing notes for this French dinner at wine-zag.com.

Even these considerations don’t cover it all. There’s filtered and unfiltered, pasteurized and non….you get the picture. Plus who knew there is such a thing as sparkling sake (Mio, which is sold at Mitzuwa Marketplace in Edgewater), strawberry sake (Homare Strawberry Nigori), and sake made in Oregon, which is the specialty of Sake One, whose slogan is “America’s Most Honored Sake.” Their website has a particularly lucid tutorial on sake under the heading “Our Kura.” (Kura is the term for brew house.)

Here’s a Twist: A Princeton Packet Story ABOUT Me, Not BY Me

It’s a bit surreal, but this time I’m on the other side of the reporter’s notebook in this article about my radio show, Dining Today with Pat Tanner in the 11/5 issue of the Princeton Packet. Thanks, Keith Loria, for the great job!

This Week on Dining Today with Pat Tanner

From wikipedia

From Wikipedia

If you missed last week’s premiere of my radio show, you’re in luck: it will be reprised this Sunday (11/10) at 2 pm on radio station 920 The Voice on your AM dial. If you’re not in the Central NJ listening area, you can listen live at www.920TheVoice.com. Thanks go out once again to my special guests Rosie Saferstein & Chris Walsh.

Jersey Gets Some Love This Week From Cowgirl Creamery, Andrew Zimmern, & Me

California’s Premier Cheesemakers Coming to Stockton Market

Sue Conley and Peggy Smith, founders of Cowgirl Creamery in Point Reyes, will be at the Stockton Market this Friday (11/8) and Saturday (11/9) to celebrate the publication of their first cookbook, Cowgirl Creamery Cooks.

On Friday from 6:30 to 8 pm, you can chat with them while tasting their award-winning cheeses (hopefully including my personal fave, Mt. Tam) with wine. $35 gets you into the tasting plus a signed copy of their book.

On Saturday from 10 am to noon, the cowgirls will be back in the saddle selling and signing their book, which they describe as featuring “cheese-centric recipes and wisdom on tasting, buying, serving, and appreciating all kinds of cheese.”

Bizarre Foods America Takes a Bite Out of Jersey

Be sure to catch tomorrow night’s (11/4) episode of Bizarre Foods America. For this season’s premiere, host Andrew Zimmern focuses on the tasty underbelly of Garden State grub. He visits 7 locations, including Jersey City’s Little Manila (where he eats balut, bless his soul), the cultish Sun Noodle ramen factory in Teterboro, and Rutgers’ Acquaculture Center in Cape May, where he creates an entirely new type of oyster. The Jersey episode airs at 9 pm on the Travel Channel, but you can get the full scoop on it today. How? Read on!

Tune in to “Dining Today with Pat Tanner” Today at 2 PM

920TheVoice logoThis is a not-so-subtle reminder that my new radio show premieres today (11/3) at 2 pm on AM 920 The Voice. The hour includes a complete rundown of the Bizarre Foods USA episode, interviews with Rosie Saferstein of “Table Hopping with Rosie” and Chris Walsh of River Horse Brewing, a recap of my NJ Monthly restaurant review of Brian’s in Lambertville, and – as we say in radio land – much, much more! 920 The Voice is broadcast throughout central NJ and Bucks County, but you can also listen live at www.920TheVoice.com.

Breaking News: I’m Back on the Radio, with My Own Show!

old fashionedI’m thrilled to announce the debut of my radio show Dining Today with Pat Tanner! It premieres this Sunday, November 3rd from 2 to 3 pm on 920 The Voice, a new AM station in Central NJ. Joining me as my first guests are Chris Walsh of River Horse Brewing and Rosie Saferstein, whose njmonthly.com column, “Table Hopping with Rosie,” is a prime source for NJ restaurant news.

Actually, Sunday marks the return of Dining Today. As you may recall, for six years I hosted this popular one-hour weekly program on food and dining in the Garden State. It was broadcast over Nassau Broadcasting’s WHWH until that station went off the air. In 2012 Nassau Broadcasting was bought by Connoisseur Media, and among its holdings are its flagship, WPST (94.5 FM), and two AM stations. Starting in November, 920 The Voice will feature locally produced, community-based talk radio on weekends – Dining Today included. Coverage area encompasses Central NJ, Bucks County, and Philadelphia, and the show will stream live over the station’s website, www.920TheVoice.com.

And as before, I will interview the movers and shakers of our local culinary scene: chefs, restaurateurs, farmers, artisan food producers, vintners and brewers, cookbook authors, food and wine merchants, and others. I’ll share my latest food and restaurant finds, as well as those of guests who, like me, are restaurant critics. And you’ll find me and Dining Today once again broadcasting live from the region’s finest food and wine events.

Me interviewing Emeril

Me interviewing Emeril

For me, one of the biggest surprises (and delights) with Dining Today the first time around was that it attracted the brightest stars of the national and international culinary scene. Among those I was honored to have as guests were Jacques Pepin, Lidia Bastianich, Tom Colicchio, Rick Bayless, Pierre Herme, and Mark Bittman. I even hosted a one-hour live broadcast from Marketfair mall with special guest Emeril Lagasse. I look forward to more of the same and hope you will join me, starting Sunday, November 3rd at 2 pm on AM 920 The Voice.

See you on the radio!