Happy 50th, Kikkoman
If you’re craving sushi, today’s the day to fill up your soy sauce dish (and sake cup) and make a toast to Kikkoman, because this is Kikkoman Day.
Back on June 5, 1957, Kikkoman Soy Sauce launched its North American headquarters here in SF, and in recognition of the company’s success, Board of Supervisors President Aaron Peskin named June 5 Kikkoman Day.
In celebration of Kikkoman Day, the golden anniversary of selling soy sauce in the U.S. and the 300-plus-year tradition of naturally brewing its soy, Mr. Yuzaburo Mogi, Chairman and CEO of Kikkoman Corporation Japan, hosted an event at City Hall yesterday where food from the ‘50s (in the U.S.) was served alongside the latest dishes from executive chef Sean O’Brien of Myth Restaurant (and, as Jessica mentioned in her blog, Food and Wine Magazine’s Best New Chef winner).
Chef O’Brien spoke about the five basic tastes and specifically mentioned “umami”—that subtle savory fifth taste that many Japanese distinguish from sweet, salty, bitter and sour. He served rock shrimp poke, salmon, fluke carpaccio, gomae, and pork belly on individual small plates. While at the next table over—in stark contrast might I add—were platters of bright red Jell-o with pineapple chunks, fried fish sticks, egg rolls, shrimp cocktail, a cheese log and chocolate cupcakes with chocolate frosting. Oh, and a pitcher of Tang.
It was interesting that even though O’Brien’s dishes were elegantly presented and tasty, the old-school 1950s dishes brought back vivid childhood memories that captivated us in a completely different way (even if none of us were close to being alive back then).
And a side note, if you’re wondering: We Americans eat the same Kikkoman soy sauce as our Japanese counterparts across the Pacific. It’s the real deal.