Special rice dedicated to Sake
Sake is not made from the same kind of rice as used in Japan’s staple diet. Instead, special sakamai (brewer’s rice) is used, and this is what forms the basis of the umami (taste) of the Sake. With larger grains than those served at the dinner table, this rice is characterized by having low levels of protein and fats, which can ruin the flavor or aroma of Sake. There are over a hundred varieties of sakamai, a few notable ones of which are Yamada Nishiki and Gohyaku Mangoku.