Why make miso?


Why make miso?

I had a strong miso craving that I couldn’t satisfy with what I could get at the stores in the Bay Area, so I started making my own. I could explain this in two ways.

  1. The best kind of miso is made, not bought.
  2. Miso is good for you.

Let’s start with #1. The best miso is made, not bought. That’s the simple truth. We can’t buy good miso in supermarkets. Supermarket miso is, generally speaking, treated to be shelf stable. That weakens the wonderful, live food quality that good miso has. This is basically true even in Japan. We have to seek out traditionally made live miso, or make our own. This is the simple and very sad truth of modern life. Fortunately, good miso is not difficult to make at home. Real live miso sings in your mouth. It does.

Now on to the reason that had more urgency for me, #2. Miso is good for you. Since this strong craving for good miso happened right after my rounds of chemotherapy, I figured that it was my body wanting to restore gut flora. Live miso is powerfully probiotic. I probably needed to taste real soothing food from my own food roots, too, given the weakened state of my body and mind.

Live food is very different from shelf-stable food. I am fortunate in that I had an opportunity to experience this in a dramatic way. The joy my first batch of shio-koji brought to my palate! It was alive and life giving. When I started my own attempts at making miso, I felt another whole level of difference. I was more grounded, stable, and could gradually move out of the darkness into a more normal, healthier state.

My friends who have had my miso pressed on to them report similar experiences. Many of them observed their bowel movements becoming regular and easy. One noticed her skin getting clearer. Another one of them sent me this mysterious comment after eating my miso for about a month. “Something in me opened. I don’t know what it is, but the part that was stuck and closed before is now free.” They are all asking for more miso every time I see them. I can’t keep up with the demand.

I will never, ever, stop growing koji and making miso. It’s too much fun.

I have no idea if I am going to start selling my miso commercially at some point. I can happily teach you how to make it at home in the meanwhile. The ingredients are inexpensive, even when choosing organic. You probably have most of the tools you need in your home. Once you learn how, you can do it for the rest of your life, providing yourself and the people around you with the gift of good food and health.

Everyone should be eating more miso.

Every family should have at least one person pick up miso making as a hobby. It’s a wonderful thing to do.

Thanks for reading!