November 10, 2011
Sake is an alcohol made from highly polished rice grains. For this reason people are quick to announce it as Gluten Free but between alcohol consumption and wishful thinking it is important to keep your eye on the game and take nothing for granted. The bad news is that sake can contain:
- Wheat bi-products
- Lactic acid
Obviously, as happens with most ‘added ingredients’, they are used for the overriding purpose of cheaper production. However, in the case of Barley (Gluten) the ingredient in question is Koji enzymes. The Koji mold is usually grown on miso which is made with barley (and fermented soy). A lot of people still consider this to be Gluten Free due to the double product separation and filtration. So it’s one of those foggy ones that has to weigh on personal opinion (note: I have seen a Sake advertised as 100% Gluten Free in America, if you can get your hands on it).
‘Junmai’ - means pure with no additional ingredients added. Nothing added except the traditional ingredients of rice, water, yeast and white koji mold
‘Gingo’ - similar to Junmai but of an even higher, purer quality
‘Daiginjo’ - an even higher grade of sake than both Junmai and Gingo
I hope this helps you let loose and get down to the business of enjoying your drink!