Natto. Whenever the topic of Japanese food comes up in a conversation (which is pretty much all the time because the duck and I love to talk about food), especially with a Japanese person, the talk usually unerringly navigates toward the stinky food that starts with the letter ‘n’ (that’s how the topic was introduced in the latest instance of natto-questioning) eventually. In fact, with fruit being so expensive in Tokyo, the duck and I had started doing research on this smelly and sticky but incredibly healthy fermented soybean delicacy even before we set off on our big journey to Japan. Inspired by this blog post from several years ago (with lots of info on natto, too – check it out!), we initially planned to try 30 days of natto ourselves. But we did not end up doing that because ① we are lazy and ② (spoiler alert!) it did not take us that long to get used to it because it was not as bad as we had expected after my first encounter with natto maki three years ago. Still, our initial fear of preparing natto was pretty intense.
You’re not convinced that I don’t think it’s the toughest challenge? Well, I do still have a vivid memory of the soy milk tasting gone wrong. In fact, I sometimes wake up in the middle of the night, drenched in sweat because my taste buds had a nightmare of this sweet sake soy milk. But, back in text, here is a summary of our short journey to appreciating natto: Continue reading