Organic Natto from Canada Started to be Sold at a Convenience Store in Vancouver
Manto Nakamura （right） from a Natto studio ‘Natto King Kitchen Works’Enlarge this image Enlarge this map
A natto studio in Vancouver ‘Natto King Kitchen Works’ （1424 Haro St.） started to sell organic natto from Canada. A natto tasting was held at a Japanese Canadian convenience store ‘Konbiniya Japan Centre’ （1238 Robson St., Tel: 604-682-3634） on January 28th.
The studio buys organic soybeans made in North America from Thompson in Ontario. Narusekin, one of three big natto bacteria, is used at the Vancouver studio. The bacteria are matured delicately adjusting the temperature from forty to forty-two degrees for twenty hours. An owner Manto Nakamura says, ‘It’s possible to make natto at a house. However, temperature control is difficult, and various kinds of minor bacteria are contaminated. Savory natto cannot be made unless humidity is adjusted from eighty to ninety-five percent.’
Natto was developed by many trials. The grain is big, and the characteristic is ‘soft and so tasty.’ Japanese who visited at the tasting praised the taste of natto, ‘Soft and delicious.’ Mr. Nakamura says, ‘I wanted to sell natto at “Konbiniya Japan Centre” because many young people come here. I want to know the response from overseas students who still remember the taste of Japanese food well.’ He is a vegan and expects, ‘Natto is resource of protein instead of meat, fish and rich in nutrition. I hope natto penetrates into local people gradually as protein from the soil.’
Frozen natoo is mainly sold at Asian supermarkets around Vancouver now. Natto King is cosigned on the fourth days after production is sold as refrigerated. ‘It can be eaten deliciously for twenty days.’ It can also be kept for a long time by freezing it after purchase. Natto is sold without any sauce because ‘Natto sauce sold at supermarkets mostly contain MSG.’ ‘You can eat Natto King only putting their favorite soy sauce on them.’
The price is CAD 4.99. One pack with a plastic container is two hundred grams. The quantity of natto is four times as large as that usually sold in Japan. It is only sold at ‘Konbiniya Japan Centre’. Mr. Nakamura smiles, ‘Big grain natto is produced now. I want to develop small grain natto as “Natto Queen.”’
Opening hours at ‘Konbiniya Japan Centre’: from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 a.m.
* Natto is Japan’s unique traditional health food made from soybeans fermented with bacillus subtilis know as natto-kin in Japanese. High in protein, a good source of vitamin K2. Contains calcium and iron.
（Translated by Hiroko Shioda）