Tamari Soy Sauce is a naturally fermented Japanese-style shoyu. Many food historians largely agree that Tamari Soy Sauce is the authentic soy sauce. It is made from a particular variety of soybean scientifically known as Glycine max. The sauce is traditionally rich and dark brown in colour. It is thicker than regular soy sauce. It has a smooth, well-balanced rich salty flavor which blends perfectly with different spices. Tamari Soy Sauce is produced by aging fermented soy beans paste (miso)in brine solution for at least 18 months. It is gluten free. Hence it is most favored by those allergic to wheat. Moreover, Tamari Soy Sauce makes an excellent seasoning for both ethnic and natural foods. Nowadays, reduced sodium Tamari Soy Sauce is available at the supermarkets and speciality health food stores across the globe.
Chinese invented soy sauce during the Kamakura period of 1192-1333 and have been using it as a condiment for more than 2,500 years. In the 7th century, the Buddhist monks introduced soya sauce in Japan. Tamari is a Japanese word derived from the verb "tamaru" that broadly means "to accumulate”. It refers to the fact that originally tamari was a by-product generated during the miso fermentation process. Today, Japan is the top producer of Tamari Soy Sauce. In Japan, it is majorly produced in the Chubu region, where it is called miso-damari.
In the fall, organic soybeans are soaked in wooden casks. The next morning, swollen beans are boiled. Mushy beans are mashed into tiny balls known as miso dama. A mixture of Aspergillus spores and roasted barley flour (natural preservative) are dusted over miso dama. This mixture is allowed to incubate for about 3 days. Later, pale yellow fluffy balls (koji) are removed from the incubator. They are laid on bamboo mats to dry for two weeks. Dried koji is mixed with concentrated brine solution and mashed into a thick paste called moromi. This paste is placed in 10 foot tall cedar vats to ferment. During the long aging process, the Aspergillus culture and naturally occurring microorganisms (such as yeasts and bacteria), slowly break down the proteins, complex carbohydrates, and oils of the soya paste. It gets converted into aromatic alcohol, fatty acids, sugars, and flavorful amino acids. Mature fermented moromi is then pressed to extract its dark liquid. This liquid is a mixture of tamari and crude soy oil. The oil is removed from the surface. Finally, the Tamari Soya Sauce is ready for bottling. The entire process takes approximately 18 months.