November 10, 2016

"If someone can pay 15 bucks for one piece of bluefin tuna, they can pay 15 bucks for a bottle of soy sauce that they’re going to put on every piece of fish."

Don't you want artisanal soy sauce?
Soon, Mr. Blum was making trips to far-flung corners of Japan to sample the soy sauces produced by small family breweries with centuries-old traditions. With an interpreter in tow, he met with the owners to discuss their concoctions, and he snapped up small bottles of sauces to try out in sushi restaurants. In tasting more than 150 sauces, he found a wide range of colors, from white to inky black, and flavors that included coffee and chocolate....

22 comments:

traditionalguy said...

One wine is good at 10 dollars. But the 30 and 60 dollar wines are worth it to celebrate. Open another.

buwaya puti said...

Where I come from we also live on soy sauce, and there were lots of brands as well as homemade "generic" sauces. It was not a matter for connoiseurs though. I guess anything can be gourmandized.

More interesting is fish sauce ("patis" in Tagalog but known by many other names across the region, such as nuoc mam in Vietnam; there are lots of varieties too), which is also traditional and ubiquitous in East Asia, but for some reason hasnt really made it here. If you want to grok out on the unique and different in your local context and one-up the sophisticates thats one thing to try.

Nonapod said...

One of the interesting emergent features of unfettered affluence of the first world is the rise of artisanal stuff. More and more people are interested in hand-made, hand crafted things than ever before. Over the coming decades with the rise of mass 3D printing and the continued robotization of production I suspect that this trend will continue to significantly. In a post scarcity world where most things are effectively infinite, stuff made with care by human hands will have the most value.

traditionalguy said...

Fish Sauce was traditionally how salt could be added to Asian meals. We still have Anchovies in the West to remind us that salted fish is what fed our ancestors in pre-refrigeration days.

Darrell said...

I'll sell you artisnal chopsticks for $100/stick. $190 for the pair. Act fast.

Bob Boyd said...

Doubtless there will one day be a niche market for hand-crafted, artisanal robots.

rehajm said...

15 bucks for one pice of bluefin tuna is middling and nowhere near the high end stuff.

Paddy O said...

I have hand-crafted artisan comments for sale. $20 each

Eric the Fruit Bat said...

My only gripe is with the word artisanal.

Just_Mike_S said...

I'd prefer artisinal tequila, but that's just me.

Triangle Man said...

This will go nicely with my artisanal firewood. I only buy from Smoke & Flame.

Jimmy said...

This makes perfect sense to me. There's a shop nearby that sells nothing but olive oil, most are far, far more than $15 a bottle. Next door is a shop that sells only tea, dozens of varieties, some costing more per ounce than we paid for weed in college.

I love a good soy sauce and have tried many varieties, including some ordered online for much more than $15 (including shipping).

Each to his or her own, and how fortunate are we to live in a time and place where we have so many choices.

fivewheels said...

I do want microbrew soy sauce, absolutely. But as a food racist, I don't want it from Brooklyn, I want it from Kowloon. (Kikkoman, of course, is made in Wisconsin.)

Usagi Yojimbo, the great samurai comic, had a story arc that was half about Usagi learning how traditional shoyu was brewed in medieval Japan. Good stuff.

Wilbur said...

I've never used soy sauce except what they include in your take-home order at Chinese restaurants.

I've observed over the years that it tastes much better the next day if you don't put any soy sauce on it at all, i.e., something in the soy sauce causes the food (especially the vegetables) to taste stale the next day.

JAORE said...

I never thought I'd pay for bottled water. Never thought I'd buy some of the vinegar I now stock up on. Nor hot sauces...

Maybe soy sauce is next.

The Drill SGT said...

More interesting is fish sauce ("patis" in Tagalog but known by many other names across the region, such as nuoc mam in Vietnam; there are lots of varieties too), which is also traditional and ubiquitous in East Asia, but for some reason hasnt really made it here.

I suspect the FDA or USDA aren't happy about the production methods. As you know, it's not a process for the faint hearted food inspector...

mikee said...

Tabasco used to sell just the one kind of hot sauce, now it has several flavors. The Chipotle hot sauce is my fave.

Of such product variation is market dominance maintained. I use Frank's for my hot wings, of course. I am not a barbarian.

gadfly said...

Kikkoman's works just fine. Soy sauce is made using fermented soybeans and wheat that have been mixed with salt brine. But the whole concoction works because of lactobacillus - yeppers, that's bacteria.

fivewheels said...

The stuff in the packets is artificially flavored. I don't think soybeans are even involved in production.

Found a page from that Usagi issue referencing the bacteria.

Marc Puckett said...

The Greeks and Romans had their fish sauce, garum; I have a vague recollection to the effect that there was a market for fashionable and expensive varieties of it, against which sumptuary laws were imposed.

wholelottasplainin' said...

If you haven't tasted my artisanal cheetos, you haven't lived.

David said...

Catsup is good on Bluefin.