Sake Pairing for Baby-Star Noodle Snack Hits Shelves

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Packages of the new Wakaebi-Star sake, created to accompany the Baby-Star dried ramen snack, are seen in Iga, Mie Prefecture.

IGA, Mie — The Wakaebis sake brewery in Iga, Mie Prefecture, has created a sake to pair with the prefecture’s signature snack product, Baby-Star dried noodles. Developed in cooperation with the Tsu-based producer of the snack, The Oyatsu Company, Ltd., the sake has been named Wakaebi-Star, a combination of the brewery and the snack’s names. The sake went on sale on April 18.

The new junmai ginjyo sake uses ingredients from the prefecture, such as locally produced Mie-no-Emi sake rice and MK5 yeast developed by the prefectural government.

In order to create sake that complements the crispy and spicy taste of Baby-Star’s standard chicken flavor, staff at the brewery and the snack manufacturer held taste tests to select the perfect yeast. Then, the sake was brewed in a 6,000-liter tank. The resulting sake has a full-bodied flavor with a refreshing acidity, making it “a sake that can be enjoyed with Baby-Star,” according to a brewery staff member.

With more people in recent years munching on Baby-Star while having a drink, Oyatsu Company started collaborating with alcoholic beverage producers last year.

“This year marks the 170th anniversary of the Wakaebis brewery and the 75th anniversary of our company,” said an Oyatsu Company official. “As we both celebrate our milestones as long-established Mie-based companies, we want to make this a product that will be loved by the people of Mie.”

Kuniko Shigefuji, the president of Wakaebis, said: “This was our first attempt to make a sake that paired with a specific snack, but it turned out to have a wonderful flavor. By all means, try it with Baby-Star.”