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Luxury hotels are always searching for ways to stand out. One of the common ways is through its food and beverage options. That’s why you’ll find things like one-of-a-kind wines and fresh white truffles from Italy. But one hotel restaurant opted to serve a rare condiment to make its mark: soy sauce.
An ancient Japanese technique dating back more than 200 years, yukimoro, or snow-aging, is a traditional preservation process, known for elevating the taste and freshness of countless Japanese delicacies, from sirloin to soy sauce and sake. Zuma, located at Four Seasons Hotel in Boston, an American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts property, has an exclusive one-of-a-kind varietal titled Yukimuro Snow Aged Soy Sauce that is not available anywhere else in the world.
What makes it so special? Well, it’s crafted in one of the snowiest regions, Tōkamachi, Nagaoka City in Japan and aged in the mountains surrounding the city that act as barriers causing extreme precipitation build-up. The umami-rich accompaniment is made from soybeans, wheat, salt, alcohol, and water, and is uniquely aged in a snow room environment for over a month. The snow-covered room maintains stable humidity and temperature without any light and vibration, giving the shoyu its nice mellow flavor.
Though most aged shoyu loses its freshness, the snow aging process allows the shoyu to develop its flavors and aroma over time without losing any of its freshness. While being preserved at a consistent, internal temperature in a state called seichi, the soy sauce retains more than 90 percent of the surrounding humidity, resulting in a sweeter and milder taste with good salt balance and unmatched freshness. The detailed process honors the ancient Japanese philosophies of harmony between people and nature.
So, how can you taste the snowy seasoning? In addition to the Boston location, it’s also served in the New York and Miami restaurant. No matter the spot, Zuma always serves this alongside fresh wasabi and is paired with a variety of fresh sashimi and sushi on the premium and seasonal omakase menu.