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...