We’re still talking about alcohol.
But this time’s the last.
Fermentation is essential for making alcohol…well, alcohol.
Yeast decomposes the sugar in the ingredients and convert them into alcohol, but what happens when this process reaches its end?
It reaches its final form.
Such is our topic today.
Bacchus, who had become the leader in alcohol brewing at our farm, rejected my proposal.
“You can’t do that! It’s a line that mustn’t be crossed! If you cross that line, alcohol will cease to be alcohol! That’s taboo!!!”
“It’s needed. Please accept it.”
“Saint… I knew you were a scary guy! As expected of an otherworlder, you fail to grasp this world’s commonsense! …Still!!!”
Bacchus then explains to me like I’m five.
“Anything but that! Please! Don’t do anything to desecrate the alcohol I’ve put so much effort into! Isn’t it good enough as it is?! Why take the risk of ruining it?!”
“…It’s because I’ve been using it for as long as I can remember.”
And I will continue to do so.
That’s my way.
If there is a possibility of creating something new, I will take on that challenge.
“You’re that determined to make it?”
That’s today’s subject.
Did you know that vinegar is made from alcohol?
“What? That heated argument they had was all about whether or not to make vinegar?”
“They get heated up over the stupidest things, don’t they?”
Platy and Veil are whispering to each other as bystanders, but they understand nothing.
Men get serious exactly because it’s stupid!!!
Alcohol can be made because of the fermentation action of yeast.
Carbohydrates are broken down into sugar, and then sugar is broken down into alcohol.
What happens when the alcohol is further fermented and broken down by bacteria then?
It becomes acetic acid.
In other words; vinegar—the ultimate evolutionary form after a series of fermentation!
Moreover, it’s one of the most basic condiments along with salt and sugar.
It’s late, but it will make a fine addition to our kitchen!
To tell you the truth, I’ve been using a vinegar-like condiment that Platy compounded with her magic as a substitute.
But if there’s hope of accomplishing the real thing, we should boldly take the plunge.
Even if the vinegar is made from alcohol, the alcohol is completely decomposed, so it’s not really alcohol anymore.
“Waaaah! Nooo! I don’t want my alcohol to stop being alcohol!!!”
Bacchus is bawling his eyes out in detest.
Surely, there’s nothing more depressing for the god of alcohol than to see his beloved alcohol vanish.
But I’m not going to console him.
I still have my eyes set on making vinegar.
It can be made by just letting the alcohol sit there, right?
Of course, we have to be careful not to let mold grow in the process.
I’ll ask Platy, our local expert, to help me with it and proceed with caution.
Let’s try one more twist at the same time—mirin.
Do you know the difference between vinegar and mirin?
Yeah, me neither.
But I do remember reading about how to make mirin in a manga, so I’m going to give it a try.
Time to prepare the ingredients.
And fungus to ferment the glutinous rice.
We had to wait for Bacchus to finish his work because shochu is indispensable.
Thanks to you, we can reach new heights.
I’ll ask Platy to shorten the fermentation period, then make genuine mirin.
I took a little lick to test it out.
I thought it would be sour since it’s kind of related to vinegar, but it wasn’t. The saccharification process of the glutinous rice incorporated into the process must’ve made it sweet.
Anyway, let’s use this in various dishes to pursue better taste!
“My alcohol… The alcohol I made!!!”
Meanwhile, Bacchus is still breaking down crying.
“Oh, well… Here, try this.”
I gave Bacchus a clear glass filled with liquid.
“What is this? I only drink alcohol and nothing else, you know.”
“Just try it.”
Bacchus looked extremely wary at first, but he finally gave in and drank from the glass.
“It’s alcohoooooool!!!” he shouts. “It’s alcohol! It really is alcohol!! And it’s insanely delicious! I’ve never tasted anything like this! What is this, Saint?!”
“It’s shochu mixed with mirin. We call it honnaoshi.”
Mirin made from shochu mixed with shochu— that’s honnaoshi.
It’s similar to the bizarre idea of putting tofu in miso soup, both finished products of soybeans, but I’m proud to say that this is the best way to make Bacchus accept the outcome.
“I like this, Saint!”
And he did accept it.
“The more I let the taste linger, the more I realize that this mirin also has some alcohol in it! It’s delicious!”
Bacchus then gulped down the mirin.
The vinegar also added more life to our dining table.
Rice vinegar is made from Japanese sake, much like wine vinegar is made from wine.
There are as many different kinds of vinegar as there are different kinds of alcohol.
I got carried away and made all sorts of things.
I could’ve been satisfied with just one kind, but no!
How am I supposed to use up all of them now?
I heard that it’s hygienic to drink vinegar straight from the bottle, so maybe…
I made Orkubo and the others drink it.
“Vinegar tastes great!”
“We’ll always be friends, right?”
Drinking the vinegar made their manliness drop down significant levels?!
So, their manliness dropped in response to the disappearance of the alcohol content?
Or maybe their brains have gone mush?! People also say drinking vinegar makes your body limp…
But, as I said, there’s no way we can use up all of it this way, so I have to think of a new approach.
Since it’s a new discovery, I wonder if there’s a dish where vinegar can be used as the highlight instead of it being a mere secret ingredient…
Ah, wait. There is.
I thaw the fish that the orcs caught and make sashimi out of them.
Then mold them quickly to make sure that my body temperature doesn’t transfer to the rice…
Now’s your time to shine, Hand of Supremacy!
Nigirizushi is ready.
Otherworldly farm-fresh sushi, ready to serve!
“Dear has made another new dish!”
“Huh? For real?!”
“I want some!!!”
“Wait up! Dibs on the first bite!!!”
And as usual, our farm residents began to gather around.
I was a little worried if they would eat it because raw fish isn’t popular and we have mermaids on this farm, but they were surprisingly unperturbed.
They dipped it in soy sauce and gobbled it up.
“Yummy! This one’s good too!”
“I never thought I’d be enchanted with uncooked fish!”
“The rice that comes with the fish tastes different from usual too!”
“You never fail to amaze us with your ingenuity, Lord Saint!”
The vinegared rice was a hit.
Maybe it’d be a good idea to try chirashizushi or a hand-rolled sushi party next time.
These things are only possible because of the vinegar.
I am grateful to alcohol, the predecessor of vinegar.
And to Bacchus for brewing the alcohol.
There is one crucial thing missing to make sushi complete.
I haven’t made it yet.
Everyone was already satisfied with wasabi-free sushi, so what would happen if I were to introduce wasabi to them now? All hell breaking loose?
Lastly… Are nigirizushi and onigiri the same or different?
To test things, I offered a piece of otoro sushi (but otherworldy) to Hephaestus’ altar.
Light shone down on the sushi like a spotlight from the ceiling.
Hephaestus’ judgment was harsh.
But the nigirizushi was sucked up by the light and ascended into the sky.
It seems he still liked it.