Sunday, May 21, 2006

This Just In...the VaNATTO

One of the more disgusting foods I’ve ever eaten is natto: fermented soy beans. So, imagine my surprise when I found this article in my Google alerts on Japan news. A Virginia farm company is now producing natto for the Japanese market.

Natto is a traditional Japanese food, and has the consistency of baked beans covered in molasses, except with a revolting “dirty feet” smell. It’s got wonderful health benefits, and was eaten by poor Japanese years ago when there was limited access to animal protein. Personally, I couldn’t get past the smell. I’ve tried it twice, once even under the influence of a bit of sake, and it still was inedible. The worst part is that it adheres to your teeth like peanut butter, and is difficult to dislodge. Even swigging and swishing with beer must be repeated frequently until it’s gone, or you just don’t care anymore.

But, good old American ingenuity…find a product, find a market, and sell, sell, sell.

The below description in red is so, so accurate…Something tells me that if you gave natto to some of these militant vegans, they might forswear their forswearance of meat. Click the link to go to the article.

Specialty soybean grown in Virginia finds a market in Japan

The beans are smaller than typical soybeans and are a bright, golden color.

"Think of pork and beans, drained, and add clear glue," Taliaferro said.

The beans ferment through a natural decay process similar to bacteria found in rice.

"The bacteria develops a clear mucus," he said. "When you eat them with chop sticks, they stick together."

They're usually served with soy sauce and mustard. They're also high in protein and good for the digestive tract, according to traditional food advertisements in Japan.

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