In the natural foods industry, the name Mitoku is synonymous with shoyu (soy sauce made with wheat). In fact, many of the world's best-selling natural food brands are actually Johsen bottled under the distributors' private labels. But even in Japan, where top-quality shoyu must meet the highest standards, Mitoku Organic Shoyu is considered the best. In 1988, Johsen shoyu received the Japanese Ministry of Agriculture's first-place award for the highest quality soy sauce in Japan. It was selected from over 2,000 entries by a panel of the world's foremost shoyu experts. Natural Import Company is very proud to be the Mitoku sole importer in North America.
The Johsen process of making shoyu begins with the roasting and cracking of whole, organic winter wheat and the steaming of whole, organic, GMO-free soybeans. These ingredients are then mixed together in approximately equal parts and inoculated with a natural culture. After a three-day incubation period in a warm, humid room, the wheat and soybeans are covered with a fragrant, fluffy mycelium that is high in natural enzymes. Now called koji, the mixture is added to a solution of water and sea salt. In temperate climates, the thick mixture of koji and brine, called moromi, is placed in seasoned cedar casks to ferment for about eighteen months (or at least two full summers).
During the long aging process, enzymes from the koji and the naturally occurring yeasts and bacteria slowly break down the complex carbohydrates, proteins, and oils of the wheat and soybeans into sweet sugars, aromatic alcohol, and flavorful amino and fatty acids. The mature fermented moromi is then placed in cotton sacks and pressed under great force to extract its dark liquid, a mixture of shoyu and crude soy oil. The oil, which rises to the surface, is removed. Now, the shoyu is ready for settling, low-temperature pasteurization, and bottling. The entire process takes about twenty-four months.
"Yukki-Grown" Sakurazawa Shoyu
This extraordinary soy sauce is made exclusively for the Ohsawa Japan Company. Uncompromising when it comes to quality, Ohsawa's brewmaster uses the finest ingredients: special washed Oshima Island "umi no sei" sea salt, "yuuki" soybeans and wheat ecologically grown by farmers with a deep commitment to sustainable agriculture. Each step of the traditional process is carefully performed by hand. In honor of George Ohsawa, we are using his Japanese family name, "Sakurazawa" as the brand name of this exceptional soy sauce.