March 23, 2006

A gift from the gods

Natto. That's right, NAAAAAATTOOOOO!!
I'm getting a little tired of people, both foreign and Japanese, panning this particular dish.
I've heard it all and I feel that it's time to set the record straight. OK I know it's pretty strong stuff and takes some getting used to, but once you realize it's food, something I wouldn't believe the first time I was offered the stuff, you're only a couple of mouthfull's away from heaven.

Now, I've heard natto described as everything from chunky snot to gopher shit wrapped in slime and since I myself have never partaken in either of those delicacies, I can't offer a comparison. One person once described the foundation for creating such a ghastly dish as a way for the peasants to camouflage their food stores so that bands of marauding samurai wouldn't discover and loot their meager supplies. That sounded reasonable , but the truth is somewhat different.

It all started about 1000 years ago, when Hachimantaro Yoshiie went to Oshu in Iwate prefecture (Yeah!) to squash an uprising of the Abe clan. He wrapped cooked soy beans in a straw packages, called "Koshizuto"as feed for his horses as well as an easy source of protein for his soldiers. His followers traveled north, and the heat from their bodies combined with the hundreds of millions of natto bacilli found in the straw fermented the Soya into what is now known as "Meat grown in the fields".
all this Info might not change your mind about natto. Actually it's not intended to, but if you have the guts to put away just one or two packages of the stuff and are really good at using chopsticks, you might discover that you, like me can't, go for a day without it.

I won't eat natto, no way man, I will not eat it, Sam I am.

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