For as rock solid as a staple of diets natto is in Japan, it's one food that makes a very strong impression. The fermented soybeans are hailed for their health benefits and flavor combinations when mixed with a number of other foods, but its pungent smell and sticky, stringy consistency make them an acquired taste for some, notably foreign visitors.
Whether you're on the side of love it or leave it when it comes to standard natto, however, if you're in Japan you now have a chance at trying a very special and luxury new twist on it--unagi flavored natto.
Released as part of Mizkan's Kin no Tsubu (Golden Grain) lineup, the new flavored natto is meant to recreated the flavor of one of Japan's favorite ways to enjoy unagi eel, unaju (broiled unagi served over rice). As such, it's highly recommended to serve the unaju natto over a bowl of rice. The natto itself carries a sweet but slightly spicy and tangy punch to it, with a flavor resembling the tangy tare sauce slathered on kabayaki-prepared unagi.
The new gourmet unagi-flavored natto will be available nationwide (excluding Hokkaido, Kyushu and Okinawa) in Japan from July 1 through the end of August.
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