Miso is a traditional fermented food with a history of over 1300 years. It is one of the nation’s most beloved and fundamental condiments, and is well known both domestically and internationally as the taste of Japan.
An old saying in Japan goes “Spend your money at the miso store rather than on a doctor,” and indeed miso has been an essential health food, eaten both day and night. Soybeans, the primary ingredient of miso, are also known as “the meat of the fields” due to being so packed full of protein.
By fermenting the soybeans, their protein breaks down into the amino acids that are the basis of “umami” (a savory taste) and becomes easily digestible. Amino acids and vitamins not normally found (or only in trace amounts) in soybeans are thus created, and the resulting food is highly nutritious. No other food can hope to equal the nutrition of miso.
Research in recent years has shown the potent effects of fermented foods on the body, bringing this old saying back into common knowledge.