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November 29, 2006

Ohsawa Nama Shoyu Named Best Soy Sauce by Cook's Illustrated

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The only objective food magazine in America tested a dozen soy sauces the way only it can: without fear or favor to advertisers โ€” since they have none.

The winner, by a wide margin, was Ohsama Nama Shoyu.

    From the January/February 2007 issue of the magazine:

    Ohsawa Nama Shoyu (shoyu is the Japanese word for soy sauce; nama shoyu means it's unpasteurized) is made in the Japanese moutain village of Kamiizumi-mura, using the spring water from the mountain. The soy sauce is hand-stirred and fermented in sixty 150-year-old cedar kegs, in a wooden post-and-beam factory surrounded by organic gardens. The flavor of Ohsawa Nama Shoyu develops over an unusually long period of time because it is double-fermented, according to Jean Richardson, president of its importer, San Diego-based Goldmine Natural Foods. After fermenting the sauce in the cedar vats for at least two summers, the makers add more soybeans and wheat and age it another two summers. "This makes a complex bouquet of aroma and flavor," Richardson said. "You don't really get that bit of salt. The aging makes it mellower."

    Long-aging and importing costs explain why Ohsawa is the most expensive brand we tasted โ€” $6.49 for 10 ounces. But spending a few extra dollars for a traditional, slow-brewed soy sauce is worth the investment, especially for use as a dipping sauce.

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As noted above, $6.49 for a 10 ounce bottle.

November 29, 2006 at 11:01 AM | Permalink


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