Amazake smoothies showcase Kyushu’s slow food movement

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Cups of amazake smoothie, left, are seen in Kama, Fukuoka Prefecture, alongside a bottle of locally sourced Jersey milk.

FUKUOKA — A shop specializing in smoothies made with amazake has been opened by a long-established sake brewery in Kama, Fukuoka Prefecture, in the hopes that the sweet, fermented rice drink can help stir up interest in local industries that have been drained by declining sales amid the pandemic.

Named “Slow” after the Slow Food movement, the shop was opened by the Osato Shuzo Brewery for a soft launch in October.

Located in a nearby farmers market, the shop serves up refreshing amazake smoothies developed by the brewery to showcase local ingredients, such as the locally sourced Jersey milk featured in their first menu item. Priced at ¥400, the smoothie is served in a cup of about 300 milliliters, and is made with Jersey milk from the Shiraki Farm agricultural cooperative in the city.

Smoothies are made fresh to order, for sipping in the store or on the go.

The Slow Food movement originated in Italy in 1989, for the protection of local food cultures and small-scale producers.

Taking a cue from the movement, the shop plans to offer limited-edition smoothies on weekends made with local specialties such as apples and persimmons.

In the meantime, staff will be busy brewing up new drink recipes in preparation for the full-scale opening of the store slated for around April next year.