The Kokoro Files

The Kokoro Files: Yota And Noriko Suzuki

When it comes to Japanese ingredients, koji is one of the most versatile and misunderstood food products out there. I like to think of it as the Batman of the fermentation world because it’s the hero mould we need and deserve. It elevates everything it comes into contact with and makes food and drink more delicious.

So, it’s always great to see more brands spreading the koji love and that’s the case with Koji Soupe. I caught up with owners Yota and Noriko Suzuki, who are on a mission to bring more koji awareness to Montreal.

Read on to learn more about the business, what got them interested in fermentation and where they see the future of Koji Soupe. 

Continue reading “The Kokoro Files: Yota And Noriko Suzuki”

Book Reviews

Koji Alchemy Review: A Book That Will Change Your Perception Of Mould

Koji Alchemy by Rich Shih and Jeremy Umansky.

Food and drink have the power to be transformative, whether it’s through unearthing a new culture, or the simple joy of spending time with friends and family. That sense of magic can be felt in certain ingredients and transform how we look at categories such as mould. Koji is exactly the kind of magical substance that will change your perception of how a mould is used in food and drink.

Koji Alchemy, written by Rich Shih and Jeremy Umansky, is a comprehensive guide on understanding what makes koji so versatile. From delving into the history of different strains, to offering one-of-a-kind recipes, Koji Alchemy is a must-read book for chefs, fermentation enthusiasts and anyone who’d like to expand their knowledge on an ingredient that’s ushering in a new wave of innovation.

Continue reading “Koji Alchemy Review: A Book That Will Change Your Perception Of Mould”

Pop Culture and Japan

Embrace The Awesomeness Of Awamori (Sake On Air Review)

Experiencing a new culture through the lens of food and drink is a great way to connect to a different part of the world without having to hop on a plane. If you ever plan to travel to Okinawa, it’s worth knowing about the island’s indigenous spirit awamori and its importance to local history.

But what exactly is awamori and how does it differ from other Japanese drinks like nihonshu and shochu? Sake On Air recently released an awamori episode that reveals why it’s worth trying this little known spirit. Continue reading “Embrace The Awesomeness Of Awamori (Sake On Air Review)”


Aspergillus Oryzae

I remember having a conversation with a mate of mine about koji

And he asked me why I found mould so exciting

He was of the opinion that if it grew in damp attics

Then it had no business being around food and drink

After swallowing the urge to punch the ignorance out of him

I realised that he had a valid point

How do you make mould sound exciting?

Imagine finding a secret ingredient that had existed for centuries

But you were one of only a handful of people who knew what it was

An ingredient so versatile that it changed the profile of anything it was added to

Magic at your fingertips

White, black and yellow gold

The crown jewel in the craftsmanship of nihonshu

The key to unlocking a smooth shochu

The kick that makes a potent awamori

When koji-kin rains

It carries the hopes and dreams of tojis

Breaking their backs for the act of creation

I explained all of this to my mate

And he said I need to get out more

So, we went for Japanese food

And he tried sake for the first time

I’d call that a victory

Japanese Cuisine · Pop Culture and Japan

What The Hell Is Koji? (Sake On Air Review)

When it comes to unique drinking cultures, Japan is a country with plenty to talk about. Drinks like nihonshu and awamori are complex and contradictory, adding to the intrigue of the Japanese alcohol industry. For anyone who is interested in learning more about sake, there are podcasts like Sake On Air, which go into detail about the industry and why Japanese beverages have become so popular in the west.

Understanding the sake brewing process is an integral part of learning how to drink it and koji is an essential ingredient. In case you’re scratching your head and wondering what koji is, the creators of Sake On Air have released an episode that gives a helpful introduction into Japan’s national mold. Continue reading “What The Hell Is Koji? (Sake On Air Review)”