Fermented Soy Beans,
probably one of the strangest food Japan created, at least at the eyes of us non-Japanese.
Natto according to many foreigners is disgusting for both taste and look, also someone said it smells like some stinky Italian or French cheese.
Let’s leave behind all this negativity and let me explain the reason I like Natto and why all of us should welcome it in our diet.
A Japanese popular belief says when you mix Natto with Rice and eggs you are having a perfectly nutritious meal. The reality is not too far from there, the studies about its nutrition facts show Natto is rich in proteins, manganese, Fiber, Vitamins B2 B6 B12 C E and K2 which is also related to bones and circulation health.
Natto has been produced in Japan for hundreds of years and it was discovered thanks to some farmers who were storing soy beans in a bed of rice straws which naturally contains the bacteria B. Subtilis Natto, the main actor in the fermentation of this interesting super-food.
Nowadays the fermentation is highly supervised by careful operators because can be easily ruined by the contamination from other kind of bacteria.
How to eat it?
For the real lovers of Natto, it can be eaten natural, no sauces or any other ingredients needed. The second way is to mix your beloved natto with soy sauce and mustard. Those ingredients are commonly sold together in Japan in a package of 3 polystyrene boxes. Each one of the boxes contain the fermented beans and two smaller bags with the mustard and soy sauce.
Another way to it is, as mentioned earlier and according to a Japanese belief, the most complete meal is Natto on top on white rice, eggs and chopped green onions.
One last way to eat it is the dry version. Japan is a country with thousands of snacks and of course they managed to create a snack version of Natto. It can be found easily on the famous Japanese flight carrier company, JAL which started to serve to its customers Dry Natto as inflight snack and this helped to spread its name and at the same time curiosity among foreign travelers.