Tasty molds: brewing culinary cultures for contemporary Japan
|Dates:||9 October 2023|
|Times:||16:00 - 18:00|
|What is it:||Seminar|
|Organiser:||School of Social Sciences|
Alice Doublier (CNRS): Tasty molds: brewing culinary cultures for contemporary Japan.
For about a decade now, a small group of Japanese soy sauce brewers have been working on the revitalisation of what is known to be the national seasoning. Although they recently met some success in their venture (e.g., an important cultural prize), the task has mostly been a delicate one. Craft soy sauce has now dropped to one percent of domestic production and proves to be a rather difficult product to advocate. It is an expensive yet banal seasoning; the production process is time-consuming and difficult to rationalize; and the sauce has a great many different tastes. According to brewers, the specificity of soy sauce lies in the production process itself, which is often described as a close collaboration between microorganisms (molds, yeasts, bacteria) and a specific environment (brewery, wooden vats, the climate), where human intervention is limited to cultivating these specific entanglements. Following the daily life of two craft breweries, I question how soy sauce makers draw on their relationships to microorganisms to envision the future of their craft and harness the irreducible multiplicity of Japanese tastes.
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Arthur Lewis Building