Is Eden Organic Miso pasteurized?
No. Conventional batch or continuous methods of pasteurization involves directly subjecting the product to heated tubes or plates of circulating hot water or steam for long periods of time, ultra high temperature (UHT) or high pressure plus high temperature.
The manufactures of Eden Organic Miso do not subject the raw miso to heated plates or tubes for long periods of time, use ultra high temperature or high pressure processing. The process that our manufacturer uses is referred to as 'water bathing.' The fermented raw miso is first packaged and sealed. The packages are then soaked, by suspending them, in hot water at a temperature well below boiling and only for several minutes. The packages are then removed and allowed to cool naturally. Due to the presence of barley and/or rice in the production of these types of miso, fermentation is more active. When this active miso is placed in small, tightly sealed packaging, undesirable yeasts and bacteria form rapidly due to the starch in the grain and lack of oxygen and can result in mold developing in the miso. Eden Organic Hacho does not contain grain starch, fermentation is not as active, and it contains more protein than other types of miso. Undesirable yeasts and bacteria do not develop in this high protein miso, therefore hacho does not require hot water bathing. Heat bathing slows down the fermentation process, which prevents the package from exploding during shipping, and prevents undesirable yeasts and bacteria from forming. Low temperature, short duration water bathing such as our manufacturer uses produces only minute changes in enzymatic action, but if left alone or exposed to more oxygen they will reappear by feeding off the surrounding ingredients of the miso. In other words all of the beneficial bacteria and enzymes are not destroyed and they will eventually replenish themselves after the package is opened.
None of Eden's bulk miso is water bathed or heat-treated. The miso is shipped in kegs, which provide room for expansion of the product due to continuous fermentation, allowing the enzymes to feed off the surrounding ingredients of the miso.
Why do you sell sliced and whole shiitake, what's the difference, and when do you use each?
Eden Whole Shiitake Mushrooms are the finest grade 'donko' variety: small, young tightly curled mushrooms treasured for their thick caps and delicious, strong flavor. Donko are used when a strong mushroom flavor is desired or in making the most flavorful traditional noodle broth called 'dashi'. Whole mushrooms require 20 to 30 minutes of soaking before they can be sliced, the stems must be removed and discarded, and the cooking time is slightly longer than sliced shiitake. After the 'donko' are harvested, shiitake continue to grow. These mushrooms have thinner caps and a less strong flavor compared to 'donko'. Eden Sliced Shiitake Mushrooms are not 'donko', but they are still delicious, and they are top quality, grown on oak logs in their natural forest habitat. After harvesting the stems are removed, and the caps are sliced and dried. Eden Sliced Shiitake are simply more convenient: quicker to use and cook. They do not require long soaking, and for soups and stews require no soaking at all; just add to the liquid. If you are in a hurry, use Eden Sliced Shiitake.