Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Natto Beans

Now I know the name of the blog is "This is Gonna Be Good" but I just have to write about one of the few foods I absolutely CAN'T eat... Through the past year or so, you've seen us eat tongue, tripe, tendon, kidneys, and all sorts of other innards -- in fact I don't think there is any part of an animal I wouldn't eat. No, this vile foodstuff is actually plant-based: natto beans!

You know how there are certain sounds that a human being actually loses the ability to hear or detect if not exposed to after a certain age. I believe the same for certain tastes... I watched my 4 and 5-year old nieces happily devouring the stuff. My friend rootwoman who grew up in Hawaii loves it.

Let me describe step by step the virtues of natto beans: 1) the first thing that hits you is the smell -- like rotting garbage. I adore fermented stinky tofu that, well, smells like shit, literally. I can deal with durian. I could probably even tolerate the natto bean smell if it got better upon hitting the lips. But, no. 2) as you spoon up a scoop of the beans, you'll see the sticky strands of mucous that await your mouth. Again, I'm one for strangely textured food - I love the gelatinousness of tendon or sea cucumber, but there's something about the little nuggets of the beans floating in the snotty mucous - ech... 3) finally the taste - now you would think that people put up with the smell and texture because perhaps some wondrous delightful flavor awaits. But again, no. Salty pungency gives way to bile-like bitterness. Phew!

The first time I had this delectable treat, I thought I was eating some type of peanut paste and was totally unprepared. I think I dry-heaved a little and had to spit my bite out in my napkin. This time I was able to swallow, but respectfully declined a second bite...

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

fougou! your distinct description of natto would definately make others afraid--I, on the other hand, as you mentioned, love it, and I just came back from a SF trip where we all trekked to South Bay Cupertino to a great Japanese restaurant called Gochi and had natto/ground chix in lettuce cups. Yum! I'm going to see if I can come up with my own recipe/version now. Anyway, sorry for being so remiss in writing...more soon, promise! xo, rootwoman

sHattEred DisPlaY said...

it prevents bloodclots and lowers blood pressure! its also medicine.

heartnita said...

That's funny because i really want to like natto but it smells like a garbage truck...
the taste is really bland also, I think i just need some time getting used to it.

Stinky tofu is awesome!!!

Ontarian said...

I am eating Natto beans right now - nothing offensive about them at all. It tastes/smells no more than aged sharp cheddar.Yum.

kspartan said...

for heartnita: Your not eating it right eating nato straight out of package with just the packet of sauce is extremely bland... you have to mix in different things one being jalapenos or serrano chile. I tried to like it also it wasnt till my mom chopped up jalapenos and green onions and other stuff that i really liked it.