In France, we rarely eat soya. We put bean sprouts in salads during summer, or we can perceive some of them floating in our miso soup when we go to a Japanese restaurant. But in Japan, soya is consumed a lot: soya beans, bean sprouts, fresh tofu, grilled soya, boiled soya, etc… or nattō. Hmmm, how can I describe nattō?!
First, look at those precise pictures closely:
As you can see, the aspect is quite weird… Now, dear reader, try to imagine a slimy, sticky and smelly substance… Even an old and runny French Camembert does not measure up!
In fact, nattō is made from soya beans. It is a traditional Japanese food made from soya beans fermented with Bacillus Subtilis more precisely. It is most commonly eaten at breakfast to accompany rice, possibly with some other ingredients, soya sauce, chopped onions or mustard for example. It is fresh and has to be eaten as soon as it is opened.
Japanese people love it! This recipe is at least 1000 years old and eventually became a favourite of people living in Edo, the capital city of Japan at that time.
Slimy and stinky is nothing new for French people obviously, with our snails, frogs and runny cheeses! I mean, with that background, I guess I could like nattō if I tried it, since I liked to eat snails and frogs 😀 I only know a few French people who actually like nattō! I guess it is a really special dish that is not a success for foreigners, and it would be silly not to try it because you have seen my pictures and explanations 🙂 You will love it if you taste it perhaps, and will become a real nattō addict!
I have forgotten to mention what most Japanese invariably say about nattō: it is good for you 😀 I do not really know the exact effects, but you are supposed to feel fortified after nattō…