STEADY BITES: NATTO

WHY: Why not-to?

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This is NATTO, ladies and gents– what some would call Japan’s ultimate “boogeyman food.” Sold by the serving, these fermented soybeans are typically eaten as a breakfast food with steamed rice and karashi (Japanese mustard), all dressed in soy sauce. Don’t forget to stir.

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IMPRESSIONS: The smell.

Prior to trying NATTO, I read everywhere that it had an overbearing ammonia-like odor. Perhaps it had to do with the particular brand/type I picked up but, to my nose — no odor. Or no foul smell, rather. Specifically, it smelled like Chinese black bean sauce. And for those in the know, it’s pleasant.

So far, so good.

Texture-wise, NATTO is similar to that of okra; very slimy — which I was okay with. Here’s where I got tripped up: the taste started off again like a milder Chinese black bean sauce however, it quickly gained an additional flavored note and became creamy/moldy cheesy in taste (a flavor I can see others enjoy as it parallels that of any obscure Western cheese). As for me, three bites were enough to put it to rest. Simply put, cheesy stuff and I aren’t doing a collab soon ever.

From worst to best, here’s the rating breakdown:

  • Hard Pass.” — Needs no explaining.
  • Blue Balls.” — Was excited for this, but.
  • Nothing to Write Home About.” — It’s ok.
  • I’d Put it on Snapchat.” — Add me!
  • DANK.” — Oh shit whaddup!

VERDICT: “Blue Balls.”

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