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Miso is a traditional Japanese staple food and seasoning. During the 18 years he lived in Japan, Clearspring's founder Christopher Dawson became an expert on miso quality and the Clearspring range is his selection of the finest traditionally fermented Japanese miso.
They are prepared using the finest organically grown ingredients: whole soya beans, cereal grains, a koji culture and sea salt. Naturally aged in cedarwood kegs over many months at ambient temperature, the slow fermentation results in a seasoning with rich and complex flavours and an abundance of umami, the fifth taste.
Only a small percentage of miso in Japan today is made in the time consuming, traditional way. Commercially produced misos where the focus is on profit and not flavour are cheaply and quickly made out of genetically engineered, hexane-defatted soy and pharmaceutical enzymes. These cheap pseudo-misos tend to contain many undeclared and inappropriate chemical processing aids and flavour enhancers like monosodium glutamate (MSG).
Miso is typically salty but its flavour and aroma depend on various factors such as ingredients, fermentation and the length of the ageing process. Other important variables that contribute to the flavour of a particular miso include temperature, duration of fermentation, salt content and the variety of koji. These different ingredients and variables result in miso which may be described as salty, sweet, earthy, fruity and savoury. The most common types are white miso traditionally consumed in the western part of Japan including Kyoto, while the eastern regions including Tokyo tend to prefer red miso.
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