Eden Organic Shoyu Soy Sauce continues a craft that began centuries ago. Brewing masters, heirs of the traditional old fashioned way, skilled in the art of koji fermentation handed down through generations, produce this soy sauce. Made of koji Aspergillus oryzae inoculated organic whole soybeans, organic wheat, pure water and the finest sea salt carefully tended and aged in cedar casks through two seasonal cycles at natural, ambient temperatures, in the same ancient and traditional manner used for over 500 years.
Eden is the highest rated and only 'Highly Recommended' brand in a recent comparison of 12 high end soy sauces by Cooks Illustrated Magazine. "Tasters decisively ranked this 'distinct' soy sauce number one in both taste tests," the authors said. "The flavor was 'toasty, caramely, and complex,' not wimpy. Rich, clean, and balanced with 'vivid' flavor. The salt flavor was tangible but not overpowering." Each soy sauce was rated on intensity of overall flavor, quality of salt flavor, and overall likability when used both alone and in cooking. Eden was the decisive favorite in both categories.
It is difficult to pinpoint exactly what it is that tastes good about shoyu. The most noticeable quality is not its own flavor, but rather its ability to combine with, harmonize and enhance the flavor of other foods. The complex, natural chemical makeup of shoyu gives it an extraordinary full and deep flavor. In addition to flavor, the irresistible aroma that shoyu contributes to food can make it smell delicious even before it is tasted. These qualities are a result of long, slow traditional fermentation.
Soy sauce should be chosen with care as one would choose a fine wine or extra virgin olive oil. The flavor and aroma of natural shoyu cannot be duplicated with chemically produced soy sauce. Today, authentic soy sauce is rare. Almost all commercial soy sauces are chemically defatted soy isolate, sugar, water, refined salt, and caramel color, genetically engineered organism artificially derived enzymes, quickly fermented under temperature controlled artificial conditions. They are commonly made with genetically engineered soybeans defatted with hexane gas.
In the 1960's George Ohsawa introduced macrobiotics to the West, and first introduced a natural soy sauce that he called 'tamari'. This soy sauce was not a true tamari, but a soy sauce called 'shoyu' in Japan. The product he called 'tamari soy sauce', was made of soybeans, wheat, koji, water and salt. Mr. Ohsawa wanted to distinguish naturally made soy sauce, traditional shoyu, from commercial, chemically processed soy sauces that were marketed under the name 'shoyu' at the time. He did not anticipate the introduction of real tamari into North America, as it was a rare commodity and byproduct of making hacho (soybean) miso. Purposely, and unfortunately, misnaming the product 'tamari' eventually led to much linguistic confusion in the 1980s, when 'wheat free tamari' was introduced. Eden Shoyu is traditional, naturally made, macrobiotic soy sauce.