A must-see for all foodies and lovers of Japanese cuisine and tradition

Article by Felice Forby

As one of the few traditional miso paste makers left in Japan, Ishii Miso is a must-visit for anyone interested in Japanese food and culinary traditions. If you go on their free brewery tour, you will first be greeted by humongous, century-old miso fermenting barrels that have been constructed out of wood. One of the brewery workers themselves will then teach you all about the miso-making process and the astonishing number of varieties that can be found in Japan.

After the tour, I recommend eating Ishii Miso’s fantastic lunch loaded with nothing but miso-inspired dishes like miso rice balls, miso pickles, and tonjiru (pork miso soup). Also, make sure you taste and compare both the 1-year and the 3-year miso pastes as well as the many products available for sampling in the shop.

The miso paste itself is a salty, savory, and wondrous product of natural fermentation that is filled with complex flavors. Although miso paste is mostly known for its use in soup, by the time you’re finished with the tour, lunch, and food samples, you’ll soon know that there endless possibilities when it comes to cooking with miso.

Before you leave, choose a couple of your favorite products from the shop to bring home as souvenirs. And, lastly, don’t miss the miso soft-serve ice cream!

One thing is for sure: you’ll never want to go back to mass-produced miso again once you taste the real thing!

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