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Tuesday, April 2, 2002

Self-serve food, drink outlet lets finicky buy by measure

Staff writer

OSAKA -- The Japanese diet has evolved in recent years to the point that almost any food from any country is available. But one shortcoming of this burst in variety has been waste, as curious consumers find themselves stuck with half-empty bottles of seasonings and drinks.

News photo
Drinks are sold by volume at Vom Fass in the Hanshin Department Store in Kita Ward, Osaka.

But Vom Fass, a new food store here in the Hanshin Department Store in Kita Ward, lets home gourmets solve this problem by sampling drinks and seasonings and buying as much -- or as little -- as they like.

The drinks available at this sold-by-measure shop (Vom Fass means 'from the cask' in German) include about 30 kinds of liquor -- from vodka, malt whiskey and grappa to cognac and wine -- as well as 10 kinds of olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

After tasting the wares on offer, a customer can select a bottle and buy wine or liquor in increments from 100 ml to 500 ml. The bottles start at 150 yen, depending on size, shape and color.

"Customers like to select drinks for different occasions, such as dinner at home or a home party," Vom Fass Manager Daisuke Okano said.

Okano said most customers are women who want to sample wines and liquor to find their own favorites. Men, when they come, mostly opt for whiskey or brandy.

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