Ever since I'd heard about it on Iron Chef (the original Japanese version, thank you--there is no other kind), I had wanted to try natto, which is fermented soybeans. Apparently, it's all the rage in Japan and has been for centuries.
Last week I was on a business trip to Denver, so I decided to have some sushi. There was a natto roll on the menu, and I ordered it. The sushi chef asked me hesitantly if I was sure that's what I wanted. "Yes!" I confirmed.
Long story short, it sucked.
First, the smell was very off-putting. Sometimes when things are fermented better things result from the process. Think beer, wine, and cheese. But fermented soybeans just aren't an improvement on the original.
Then there was the texture, or "mouthfeel" for all you foodies. The natto made everything except the outer nori wrap slimy. It was a real exercise to keep on chewing.
I was able to eat five out of the six rolls. I figured by that point I had proven to myself and to those in my immediate vicinity that I was a brave soul, someone who walks the "just try it" talk. It was hard, but I dood it.
I will never. Ever. Ask my family to eat natto. Sorry, Iron Chef and any Japanese people who may be reading this blog. I'm sure I've offended at least one person who grew up savoring the rich, unique flavor of natto. Well, if it makes you feel any better, go ahead and rag on something I adore eating. Here are a few to get you started: oysters, deviled eggs, stuffed cabbage, and lychees.