January 22 is Curry Day! Celebrate with a plate of delicious curry rice and Echigo Koshihikari Beer!

17 Jan 2019

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Origin of Japanese curry

Curry came to Japan by way of England. In the 18th century, Indian curry made its way to England while India was a British colony. In the 19th century, the British started making their own curry powder that was less spicy with added flour to give it body. Curry was introduced to Japan by the British during the Meiji era (1868–1912) after Japan opened its ports to foreign trade. By the 1870s, curry began to be served in Japan, and became a staple within the Japanese diet. Becoming popular in the Japanese Army, it later became popular in school cafeterias.

According to Japanese food writer Morieda Takashi, as of 2000, the average person in Japan ate curry more frequently than sushi or tempura.

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Curry day and School lunch history

January 22 is Curry Day (カレーの日) in Japan.

In 1982, School Dietitian Conference of Japan celebrated the 35th anniversary of school meal (Kyushoku or 給食), and decided to start serving curry rice on every January 22. If January 22 is school day, Japanese schools will most likely serve Japanese curry rice. They simply chose curry rice because kids love it.

Kyushoku is more than just a school meal. It is also a learning experience for the students.

Majority of public elementary and many junior high schools in Japan provide lunches for their students. These meals are prepared in kitchens within the school or at school-lunch centers serving several schools. School lunches in Japan are an integral part of a school’s educational activities.

Children deliver school lunch to each classroom on the rolling carts from the kitchens and serve them by themselves. The kids go up to the serving station to get their lunch which is served by the kids who are on duty that week. The process of taking responsibility to prepare, serve, eat and clean up after lunch gives school children a real work experience. These kinds of cooperative activities help to build a sense of service and a spirit of harmony.

Through the school lunch system, the students learn not only the process of taking responsibility to prepare, serve, eat and clean up after lunch, but also the etiquette and nutrition which leads to positive lifelong eating habits.

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Recommended Pairing

Light lagers are among the palest type of beer, and they are well known for their crisp and refreshing taste. This style of beer is also one of the most versatile, pairing well with a variety of dishes. Because light lagers have such a refreshing flavor, they're ideal for pairing with spicy dishes. The crisp and clean taste of these beers can cut through the spiciness of the food and provide much needed relief from the heat.

Therefore, we recommend pairing curry rice with Echigo Koshihikari Beer. Echigo is the flagship brand of Echigo Brewery. It is a rice style lager with 5% alcohol. The brewery uses the time-consuming German decoction method to bring out the natural sweet flavor from the Niigata grown Koshihikari rice.

We invite you to have your own Curry Day with a plate of curry rice and a bottle of Echigo Koshihikari Beer!

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