My daughter and I love Natto. I hate the English translation for it – [Fermented soy beans]. It sounds absolutely revolting! So let me call it [Natto].
Natto was traditionally made in straw parcel like the picture below. Nowadays it is packaged in polystyrene (Can we please change back to straw?!).
There are many kinds of Natto. Super small beans to large beans as well as flavoured beans and chopped beans. I like the chopped ones. If not available in the shop, then I would take super small beans.
Being on Isle of Wight, I have no access to Japanese foods locally. I use Japan Centre Online for Natto and most other Japanese ingredients. They are really professional. I made a complaint a couple of times in the past. Their customer service is very good. First time was about the broken packaging of dry Udon noodles. I received the replacement within a couple of days. The second time was about broken package of chilled Aduki Mochi. They didn’t send me a replacement but promised me 20% discount on the next order. 4-5 months later, I placed an order and left a note of “xxx promised me 20% discount back in May”. Surprise surprise, they gave me 20% discount without any fuss!
Back to Natto. Natto is one of the traditional breakfast items in Japan. Do you like the smell? My husband absolutely hate it. He can’t stand it. On the day my daughter and I eat Natto in the morning, he would come into the dining room covering his nose. He would stay away from us as much as possible until we finish our breakfast. Poor man. But, frankly speaking, I don’t care about his Natto-sensitive nose. I need to eat Natto!
Natto is full of protein and gives you the good bacteria that you would never get from Western diet. It is very important to have a varied diet with many different types of good bacteria. I do understand the smell may be a bit of a problem for some people. I always let my students some of the Japanese foods that ordinary British people wouldn’t come across. Interestingly, some of my students said that Natto tasted a bit like COFFEE. Really? I’ve never thought of that!