Beyond understanding fermentation
Sake kasu, a byproduct of Sequoia’s sake pressing process, also inspires Reed. He ages it himself, with the longest-aged currently being a six year old batch.
“I can do kind of a flight of the sake courses where you have a six year old, a four year old, two year old and then fresh and you can see how much it changes just in color, and Maillard reaction giving it that dark, nutty flavor to it. And it really bothers people’s mind that this is the exact same thing. They’re just there as a living, breathing animal,” Reed says, describing the kasu.
In Japan, sake kasu is used for pickles and marinating fish, while Reed works more creatively, mixing it with chocolate or using it in fried chicken. It also goes well with fish garam, which he makes by fermenting fish he, of course, catches himself.
In recent years, fermentation culture is growing in America, but Reed points out that until this shift, most people did not understand why pickled cucumbers didn’t spoil. It has existed around the world for a long time, and, “goes back to being able to survive,” he says.
“It’s people not seeing the full circle these days, but being able to show them like, ‘Hey, this is how it’s done.’ This is why it was done and this is why it tastes so good. So it’s building that appreciation.”
Let customers experience it, discover it, and remember it. That is Reed’s calling.