Otherworldly Gifts

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August 2006

A samurai warrior, in a village under siege, saw a horse eating fermented beans from a barrel. That's one legend about the beginning of Miso, the thick, savory paste that is the base of miso soup. In reality, historians believe miso originated in China about 3,000 years ago. Buddhist priests who wished to enjoy a vegetarian version of chiang, a type of fermented meat or fish, began to experiment with soybeans and wild friendly bacteria. They introduced their soy based chiang to Japan, where it became known as miso. Over centuries the Japanese created many types of miso by combining soybeans with different varieties of grain and aging them for varying lengths of time.

Delicious Powerful Soy Food

If you've only had the pale ‘miso’ usually served at a sushi bar, you're in for a treat when you experience the real thing. Use it to make traditional miso soup, and as a seasoning for stews, sauces, gravies, vegetable dishes, spreads, salad dressing, dips, marinades, and with noodle dishes ... virtually endless possibilities. True miso is a delicious, easy to use, densely nutritious food. It contains iron, vitamin B2, potassium, dietary fiber, protein, friendly bacteria such as lactobacillus, and proteolic enzymes. The bacteria and enzymes in miso help to promote nutrient assimilation, good digestion, and support immune system health. During fermentation and aging in the traditional miso making process, soybeans are broken down into nutrients that are easily absorbed.

Time and River Stones

Eden Certified Organic Misos are traditionally crafted in Japan with whole soybeans and grain, the finest sea salt, and koji (Aspergillus oryzae, a beneficial wild bacteria). Soybeans and grain are cleaned, steamed, inoculated with koji, and mixed with sea salt. The mixture is aged in 200 year old wooden kegs weighted with large, smooth river stones. In these giant kegs a magic transformation occurs with time, temperature, and pressure creating a marvelous food. The variety of color, flavor, and texture in our miso is a reflection of the ingredients and climate in which they are made. The richest and darkest, Hacho Miso is aged for three years, while the lightest, Shiro Miso ages for two months. EDEN Organic Miso comes in four varieties, each in a re–closable standing pouch. Discover your favorites, season to season.