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Amazake has a long history in Japan. It has been around there for more than a thousand years. It was used as an offering to the gods of the temples. The word amazake literally translates to “sweet sake”. However, there are two types of amazake. The first type is the kind available at Green Cuisine, and is made by combining steamed rice and water with a starter of rice that has been exposed to koji, a culture of the Aspergillus oryzae variety. You may be interested to know that Aspergillus oryzae is also used for making miso, natto, soy sauce, and sake. Anyway, for this amazake, the culture and rice mixture is left to ferment until the starches in the rice convert to simple sugars. Hence the sweetness.