Friday, April 21, 2006

Day 13: I am not the Robert Parker of Natto

I knew this would happen. While I also noticed that the new "good-natto" brand natto (at left) was easier to whip up into a foamy neba neba, I was not able -- like Valerie -- to discern any difference in taste compared to the "happy-natto-woman" natto. It is of course, better than the "crazy-cartoon-natto-chef" natto we were eating a few weeks ago, but that's just because that natto was rotten. I think I would have to taste them side-by-side in order to identify a difference in taste. I share Valerie's questions about the possible connection between taste and texture in natto and the extent to which true natto connoisseurs would say "the more pungent the better." My guess is that they wouldn't, since most of them seem to think you should eat natto with mustard or rice or scallions or tuna -- but never by itself like we are doing. I'm not sure any subtle variations in pungency would be distinguishable through all of those condiments, at least not to my blunt palate.

In case you're wondering, we'll be able to try out a few more brands if we so choose. Here is a shot of the natto section of the Sunrise Japanese supermarket where we buy our natto (gotta love NYC). As you can see, there are about a dozen natto brands, so I'm confident that Valerie will eventually parse the different flavor qualities of all of them. I will continue to think they all taste the same.

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