Dining & Wine

Cocoanama & Artisan SakeMaker’s Sake Kasu Chocolates

February 10, 2023

We’ve all heard of chocolate and wine pairing, but how about chocolate and sake pairing?

Masa Shiroki, from Artisan SakeMaker in Granville Island, and local chocolatiers Kayoko Hamamoto and Taknori Chiwata of Cocoanama, have collaborated to create the ultimate chocolate for sake pairing. These delicious flavour bombs are made with cocoa and sake kasu, a natural by-product of sake making that is packed full of that umami flavour. Chefs worldwide use the kasu to add complexity to their recipes, it’s a paste prized for its unique umami-packed flavour and floral aromatics and is available for sale at Artisan SakeMaker. Chef Andrea Carlson, owner of Burdock, and Masayoshi Baba, owner of Masayoshi are both fans, you can find a recipe using sake katsu in a Chicken Udon Broth and a Mochi ice cream from each of them here. Of note, these restaurants were both among the very few that received a Michelin star recently. Coincidence, or could there be something about the sake kasu? Of course, we are joking, but we are big fans of the flavour that it adds to everything from fish to cocktails and pickles.

The chocolates are available at Artisan SakeMaker and include a Kasu Choco Bonbon and the Kasu Yuzu Ganache. From February 12 to 19 you can try a special sake and chocolate pairing at the shop in Railspur Alley on Granville Island. The pairings are just $8 and include:

  • Two chocolates + 3 kinds of sparkling sake samplings (Osake Junmai Sparkling sake, Osake Junmai Nigori Sparkling, and Apple Yuzu sparkling)
  • Two chocolates + 3 sake samplings (Osake Junmai Ginjo, Osake Junmai Ginjo Nigori, and Apple Yuzu sparkling)

Once the special is over chocolates can be purchased by the box at the store along with all the sakes mentioned.

Artisan SakeMaker recently made headlines for their sake made with rice grown locally in the Fraser Valley. The Osake Fraser Valley Junami Nigori Renaissance is a complex, creamy and semi-sweet sake, so be sure to give that a try when you visit. They also have locally grown rice for sale, and a skincare line, Orizee Skincare, formulated with the enzymatic power of that same sake kasu! —Cassandra Anderton



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