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Melinda Joe

Melinda Joe is an American journalist in Tokyo. A certified wine and sake professional, she writes about Japanese drinks in her Kanpai Culture column for The Japan Times and blogs at tokyodrinkingglass.blogspot.com.

For Melinda Joe's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

Green fairy leads to Tokyo absinthe bar

| Sep 9, 2014

Green fairy leads to Tokyo absinthe bar

Five years ago, Hiroyasu Kayama developed a fascination with absinthe. Shortly before opening his bar Ben Fiddich in July 2013, he took a pilgrimage to the famous absinthe-producing town of Pontarlier, which lies on the French border with Switzerland. Now, the 30-year-old mixologist wants ...

Umami: the taste we love but can't describe

Jul 19, 2014

Umami: the taste we love but can't describe

The word “umami” is, in many ways, literally a mouthful. First coined in 1909 by Japanese chemist Kikunae Ikeda, the term translates roughly as “deliciousness.” With its satisfying, round consonants and open vowel sounds, the word approaches onomatopoeia — a phonetic approximation of the ...

Let's not forget the sake at world food events

| May 13, 2014

Let's not forget the sake at world food events

On the afternoon of April 28, at an intimate gathering in London’s Ametsa restaurant, a cluster of admirers with champagne flutes in hand fluttered around chef Helena Rizzo. The Brazilian Rizzo, who helms the acclaimed restaurant Mani in Sao Paulo, had recently been named ...