Traditional Culture of Japan - Portal site of traditional crafts and culture

Bizen ware makes beer foam silky smooth

 

Pouring sake or shōchu (a kind of distilled liquor) into Bizen ware naturally makes the drink tastier. If you pour beer into Bizen ware, too, the taste becomes exceptionally better compared to other kinds of cups.

 

All of these qualities are distinctive defining characteristics of Bizen ware — but, why is that alcohol becomes tastier with Bizen ware?

 

The science behind bizen ware
Perhaps there are many people out there who believe dining ware is solely for placing food on, pouring drinks into, etc. Indeed, dining wares sold at supermarkets and the like are nothing more than utensils for food and drink to be placed on or into. However, Bizen ware works to enhance food.

 

What really stands out is how much tastier water becomes when put in Bizen ware. Filling Bizen ware with sake is said to turn second-rate sake into premium sake, which is also true for shōchu and other types of alcohol.

 

According to a statement by the Okayama University of Science and the Okayama Ceramics Center, high near-infrared readings were taken from Bizen ware, which, in turn, gives the alcohol inside of it a pleasant, subdued flavor.

 

On top of that, Bizen ware's defining feature is that it does not use glaze (the glass-like substance that covers the surface of ceramic wares), which means that not only does it take advantage of the natural earthy color of the raw materials, it also prevents any strange chemical substances from mixing with water. In fact, on the contrary, water is actually purified by Bizen ware.

 

In other words, Bizen ware does not just enhance the appearance of food and drink — it actually makes them more delicious!

 

Also, if you ever make your way out to the Inbe area in Bizen City, Okayama, you will find that some stores sell Bizen ware filled with sake and shochu.

 

Although sake and the like is sensitive to light, light cannot penetrate Bizen ware; not only that —sake is also brought to maturity inside of Bizen ware, so you can, in effect, expect an even tastier sake.

 

After finishing off the sake, you can take the Bizen ware container and put it to use as a flower vase to effectively make the most out of it.

 

Bizen ware makes beer even tastier
Bizen ware cups that have been used as everyday items since long ago do not have handles. While it is true that there are Bizen ware coffee mugs that do have handles today, these are merely modern adaptations.

 

The reason Bizen ware cups do not have handles is that they do not easily transmit heat. With materials such as porcelain, in exchange for being thin and strong, when they are filled with hot drinks like coffee, they become too hot to hold. This is why they absolutely must have handles. However, with Bizen ware, you can hold the mug in your bare hands no problem.

 

Bizen ware possesses this ability to prevent hot drinks from cooling off and cold drinks from warming up. Pour a beer in a cup made from Bizen ware and it will keep your beer cold, and unlike with glass cups, you won’t have any dripping condensation from the cup cooling down.

 

Since Bizen ware does not use glaze, its surface is rough, making for silky smooth foam and creating a creamy beer.

 

Beer foam acts as a lid that prevents contact with the air, which wards off transformations in the chemical makeup of the beer and prevents the beer from going flat. Foam is also known for its ability to adsorb bitterness, and foam also has a large influence on the taste of beer. The reason beer tastes better drank from Bizen ware is that the foam, as mentioned above, becomes finer.

 

When drinking alcohol, including beer, wine, sake, shōchu, and others, try to give thought to what cup you should use to drink from. No doubt you will see a big change in the taste of the drink simply by doing so.

 

Bizen ware developed as dining ware and general-purpose goods for daily use, which is why you won’t discover its true charm until you put it to use in your actual lifestyle.


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