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Despite its reputation as a superfood, natto has failed to gain popularity outside of Japan. It has, however, attracted enough attention to end up in the Disgusting Food Museum in Malmö, Sweden. Have you tried natto? Do you like it?


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It's certainly a food that you have to develop a taste for. Personally, I eat it almost daily, cheap, tasty, and versatile, you can prepare it in various ways.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

Most people in Western Japan don't even like it. Developing a taste for it is an understatement.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

I also tried it...in many different ways...but, same like Klausdorth...never again.

But my little boy and my wife eat Natto for breakfast...for me impossible.

I want my scrummbled eggs, toast and Yoghurt for breakfast.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

It used to turn me off, but it has become my taste over time.

the Disgusting Food Museum in Malmö, Sweden.

Whatever taste or appearance, food is essential part of culture. The name of the museum is prejudiced, short of respect.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

My children love it, I can't stand it, which made for some very comical mornings when they were very young.

As a single Gaijin father I would prepare their breakfast of Natto holding my breath and trying to control my gag reflex.

Still can't stand the stuff but my present wife and my 2 adult children eat it nearly every day.

Side note: A friend from France once joked say this about Natto:

"If they can press it into a flat round shape and make it look like some fancy cheese you spread on bread or crackers, it just might catch on in the snobby circles in the west because it doesn't smell any worse than some cheeses."

4 ( +5 / -1 )

There are better tasting healthy foods. The smell is worse than the actual taste. I wouldn’t have it in the house.

Whatever taste or appearance, food is essential part of culture. The name of the museum is prejudiced, short of respect.

I hope and think the majority of Japanese people wouldn’t be offended. I think being able to laugh at yourself and your culture is a healthy thing.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I quite like it, my youngest really does. With food prices so high in Japan, I really like the price.

Is natto (or anything else to be honest) actually a superfood though? It's just soy beans and Japanese eat those in various other forms, some of them also fermented.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

JimizoToday  08:56 am JST

There are better tasting healthy foods. The smell is worse than the actual taste. I wouldn’t have it in the house

We have a purely local cheese back home in Quebec that I can only describe as smelling like week old unwashed Hockey (ice) socks and we love it. ( It can actually be worse than natto as we like it warm and leave it out of the fridge before eating the smell will fill the entire house)

My wife says it is no different than Natto bad smell but tastes good.

I don't like the smell or taste of natto but that is only my opinion others live it, to each their own.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I like it and eat it fairly often. Mind you, I'm big a fan of Marmite, Vegemite and other fermented foods like kimchi, so maybe that's a factor. It's cheap and nutritious, particularly good for vegetarians or vegans.

Not sure about this "superfood" claim, though.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Natto sold overseas mostly in local Asian markets seem to me not authentic ones. They get frozen and imported with preservatives which may ruin original taste. I don't want people to eat them and rush to (over-) generalize that natto must taste such.

In Japan there are of course more variations, and many are usually inexpensive. Good quality natto products taste different, less bitter and more umami.

If strong smell and sticky-ness turn you off, try some dried natto or snack type whose taste is mild. It's easy to eat and preserve.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I love it. I eat it all the time. My kids are CRAZY for it and my wife loves it too.

One meal I love with natto is making goya kimchi and mixing it with natto and then pouring that on top of udon 

Love it

1 ( +2 / -1 )

KIDS vs. FOOD # 10 - NATTO - YouTube

Here's a HILARIOUS video about western kids trying Natto for the first time. SO FUNNY!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Just only a hype or new sales campaign for natto, as it is done with green tea, shoyu, sake, shochu, many marine products and a lot more too. Some people will like them and some other people won’t , as it is always and with all other things too. Within Japan or in foreign countries, that’s not playing a role so much. In general, people like mostly all things and tastes they are grown up with. Therefore most attempts to change that won’t be so very successful, maybe only temporary.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I tried to like it but it's terrible. It was natto for me.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

The funny thing is I know far more non Japanese that eat natto than will eat umeboshi ( I love umeboshi despite them definitely being not good for you).

2 ( +2 / -0 )

It's the smell and the texture that make it completely inedible for me. It's not that pretty to look at, either.

I reckon food should be enjoyable by all of the senses.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Natto is the best, versatile dish for sure. Great for you and I mix mine with Kimchi, so the flavors are intense and deep, love it, could eat it all the time.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Stinks up the place

That’s the main problem with it. It is pretty nasty. My wife won’t have dried bonito flakes in the place either.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Natto sold overseas mostly in local Asian markets seem to me not authentic ones.

The stuff we buy from a couple of Asian stores in Edinburgh seems exactly the same as what is generally sold in Japan.

I'm a big fan. I got addicted when living in Tokyo for about three years and spending a lot of time in company training centers and having breakfast in company canteens. When I moved to Osaka, my wife's family there didn't eat it, but they would buy it for me and gradually started eating it too. But there was a big marketing campaign around the same time targeting natto at kids in western Japan. That was probably more influential than me.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

bass4funkToday  02:29 pm JST

Natto is the best, versatile dish for sure. Great for you and I mix mine with Kimchi, so the flavors are intense and deep, love it, could eat it all the time.

Not even close.

Tofu now that is a versatile food.

Plain, with soy sauce ginger and green onions, in nikukomi, mix's in with minced chicken breast to make great low fat Giyoza, in miso soup, Korean sundubu, in a nabe, fried, boiled, baked, grilled, etc...

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Natto is perfectly good beans

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Oops, hit post inadvertently.….…

…..perfectly good beans allowed nay made to go bad. I love beans, cannot abide stinky slimy natto. A criminal waste of a perfectly healthy, palatable foodstuff.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

It is the pong, my father and I are the only members of the family that steer clear.

However all other family member adore what is fermented soy beans. But at least your are rumored to live longer..

Sorry but when presented in it natural state, smells like vomit, shaken in old sock.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I've been eating natto for a long time. I like it but I don't think its taste is very good. I don't blame foreigners hate it. I eat it because it is good for health.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

If my J family is a yardstick, a bowl of natto a day and you will statically live into your nineties.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Close your eyes when natto is lifted out the tray.

It appear similar to that gooey secretion witnessed in the Ridley Scott Alien horror masterpieces.

The statistical evidence that daily intake prolongs life is compelling. The more you ingest the longer you live.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

RecklessToday  05:02 pm JST

I had it in fried gyoza and it was ok. Unfortunately I cannot eat food that stinks or is slimy. I do love Korea kimchee however.

You want healthy Giyoza that taste good.

Make them with minced chicken breast and Silk tofu some nira and green onions.

Skip the Natto.

You will think you are eating pork Giyoza the tofu keeps them moist like fat but without the unhealthy pork fat.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

If you think natto smells bad, don't try kusaya

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Natto belabor the topic but is there some additional ‘benefit’ to mixing the natto with the additional neba-neba like okra & shio-kombu? - Seems palatable that way on top of freshly cooked Japanese rice.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Q2: Can it be baked into bread or will it lose it’s potential benefits?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

zichi: "Who gets to decide what foods are disgusting?"

Each person does on their own, of course, which is your point. But when most people share the same opinion for the same reason, it can be called as such and be true among the majority. I mean, go to any famous art museum and you will ultimately find something like Yayoi Kusama's modern "art" somewhere. It will probably be labelled as a great work, even though some will righty claim their children could do better. Doesn't mean you don't call it an art gallery, or a "great" gallery if that happens to be in the name.

In any case, I sometimes eat natto. I have no problem with the taste at all, though I wouldn't say I like it. I just know it's not that bad, and is very good for you. The texture is what I had to get over at first, though. I hate the tendrils of slime that fly about when you eat it. Oh, and I eat it commando style -- no sauces, and nothing with it. Just open the pack and eat it.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

No "woke" about it. These are "manly men" that young people today need as role models: eating natto "commando style" (sans pansu?) AND to "put hair in your chest". - Simple tastes AND 'simpler times' are best! - Good work. gentleman!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Maybe I am being a tad culturally disingenuous,

When food pong is concerned.


The blues are my favorites.

My J friends say they have a gag factor of ten, retch a minute, my language interpretation.

I love stinky cheese ......

17 Top Stinky Cheeses


I buy from Nagoya.... But the smell to my J friends is horrific.

Stinky poo

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The fact statically natto points to a longer life, whilst stinky cheese guarantees a wider waist line......

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

@zichi: maybe you overlooked the 6:46pm natto questions??

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

I guess natto is Japan's answer to Marmite. Most seem to love it or hate it. If something doesn't taste (or smell) quite like anything else, folk do tend to respond like that.

Before locating natto on the stinky scale you should prepare a fresh Durian. Durians have a unique niff, but not quite as bad as I expected. What is discomforting is how the smell lingers.

There are less scarey 'superfoods' in Japan. Seaweed (vitamins, minerals, dietary fibre), tofu (low calorie, high protein) and, my favourite, matcha. Matcha is loaded with catechins - natural antioxidants. The world needs more matcha.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Beans on toast’: Great.

‘Marmite (or Vegemite) on Toast’: Awesome.

‘Beans on Marmite on Toast’: Excellent!

’Natto … on Toast’: ??

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Yep,good on toast(esp with a little tomato ketchup),good on pasta,but baked in bread,not so successful.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Not a Japanese, but I love that stuff, especially if you mix it with a raw egg, some soy sauce over freshly-cooked bowl of rice. It's a cheap and healthy fix. But I'll admit though, the smell, taste and texture will put off most westerners as it is acquired. It's the same with Asians who try traditional European cheese, it smells bad but tastes good. All I know is that fermented foods are generally good for you (booze included lol)

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I've tried it. Several times. Disgusting every time. I'm finished with that stinky, smelly garbage. Edamame is great. Why rotten them? Talk about mottainai.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I eat it but only for the health benefits and for the protein and vitamins. Back home I just wouldn't eat it because there's so many other more palatable vegetarian/vegan stuff. My biggest complaint is they always seem to come in those environmentally-damaging styrofoam packaging. Hell, even McDonalds stopped using them decades ago. The ones which come in paper cups are twice as expensive.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The more you ingest the longer you live.

No, it just seems longer.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

I have tried it.

I disliked it.

But I am working up the courage to try it again. Someone explained to me that natto is like cheese: you might not like blue cheese, but you might like cheddar. If you don't like natto, you should try different kinds.

Though, as I say, I have yet to work up the courage for this.

But I do like the other big divider, umeboshi.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Used to hate natto, but got used to it and now can barely notice the smell unless it's heated up. Wife loves it. I'll eat it if its put in from of me, but won't go out of my way to request it.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Even though the smell is pretty offensive, it's the texture that I don't like more than anything. Slimy foods throw me off immensely.

Oh the flipside, a lot of people won't keep Nukadzuke in the house because of the Nuka smell but I think it smells great and Nukadzuke is the best tasting fermented food in Japan. Everybody has something they don't like, it's not that serious.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I can't even stand the smell, much less the taste.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I eat lots of healthy foods already so I give natto a pass.

Made Kimchi last year but after a few weeks it developed those strings...

I guess I messed up with the fermenting progress so I had to discharge the lot.

Strings and goo are a big no-no.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Not even close.

Naw, have to disagree with you on that. I eat it almost every day.

Tofu now that is a versatile food.

Plain, with soy sauce ginger and green onions, in nikukomi, mix's in with minced chicken breast to make great low fat Giyoza, in miso soup, Korean sundubu, in a nabe, fried, boiled, baked, grilled, etc...

That's fine, but I love natto traditional, fried on top of potatoes, deep-fried, had it so many ways, have to disagree with you on the versatile part there. Not to mention the power of the protein that you get with it. Natto fills me up, love tofu, but after an hour I get hungry again, I don't have that when I mix natto and Kimchi.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Have you tried natto? Do you like it?

Yes. No.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

On the disgusting food scale, it's nowhere near the top. I had heard of its bad repuation, but when I finally tried it , it wasn't so bad.

Not a big fan, but I would eat it if given to me as part of a breakfast meal. I would rather eat that than certain types of bony/oily fish.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Chop some garlic, fry it a bit on frying pan, add some vegs like kunshinsai, some NATTO, nampra, chilli pepper, and you get (almost) authenthic Thai cuisine.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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