The following are the most frequently asked questions by our valued customers.
- How long does miso keep? and miso damari?
Massawippi miso keeps for at least 2 years in the refrigerator and for 2 to 6 months at room temperature. With its 4.8 pH, 5% to 8% salt content and 49% to 51% humidity level, miso is a product with a long shelf life. It can actually keep in a small bowl in a desk drawer – an ideal replacement at the 10 a.m. coffee break – or as a convenient travel item not requiring refrigeration. In the latter case, for those of us lucky enough to travel to a tropical destination, a cup of miso broth is an excellent “tourista” antidote!
Damari, once open, will keep almost indefinitely in the refrigerator or on the shelf.
- Is it possible to consume too much miso?
Due to its rich flavor, it is not likely that too much miso will be consumed during one meal or at one time. It is also highly unlikely that too much miso will be consumed over a period of one day. Because miso has a salty taste, it has a quick effect: you get thirsty!
- Does miso contain a lot of salt?
Generally speaking, Massawippi miso has a much lower salt content than commercially produced miso. One 10g serving of Massawippi miso contains only 375mg of sodium – 1.5 times less sodium than in a serving of V8 juice, two times less sodium than in a serving of salt reduced chicken based Bovril, 3 times less sodium than in Knorr Swiss soup, 4 to 6 times less sodium than in Habitant or Campbell soups.
It is important to add that the taste of salt in a quality organic miso product is not camouflaged by food additives, preservatives or “taste enhancers”, such as MSG among others. Furthermore, most people are not aware of the fact that the perception of a salty taste is not a precise indicator of the quantity of salt present in food. Not all people detect saltiness to the same extent. From the point of perceiving a good level of saltiness to that of perceiving too much saltiness, the total amount of salt could have increased up to 6 or more times!
- The lid is bulging. Has the miso gone bad?
Absolutely not. The bulging lid is a normal sign – miso is non-pasteurized, alive and breathing.
- How is miso used?
Miso is ideal as a substitute for salt, bouillon cubes, bottled sauces and beef and chicken concentrates in soups, gravies, vinaigrettes, marinades, dips, toppings and in most prepared dishes.
Non-pasteurized miso should be added towards the end of the cooking period, just before serving, to preserve the enzyme and lactobacillus content. In general, it is easier to add the miso by first diluting it in some of the cooking liquid or in lukewarm water. Of course it can be spread directly, and sparingly, on a fresh ear of corn on the cob!
- Why is Massawippi miso more expensive?
- Our miso is 100% organic, a natural product, slowly fermented – for at least 2 years – and non-pasteurized. Other organic misos are generally fermented for a short period of time – 4 to 6 months. Plus, our main ingredient is the soybean, compared to rice in most misos.
- Most producers advertise miso as a condiment, pasteurized and available in dry-form packets. The lactobacillus and enzymes have been destroyed and the B vitamins are sensitive to heat. Our natural miso is a living food that contains various enzymes and lactobacillus. It is produced in such a way as to preserve its functional qualities: a slow and lengthy cooking of the soybean at low heat – up to 20 hours – and a long fermentation period at room temperature that enhances its essential qualities. The result is a miso that is high in powerful nutraceutic properties. Its organic acids stabilize heavy metals, its isoflavone and complex vitamin B content are higher. Finally, only a long period of fermentation can reduce the phytic acid content in the soybean, an acid that tends to slow down the assimilation of essential minerals such as calcium, magnesium, copper, zinc and iron.
- Our mission, and focus on the promotion of good health, requires that we schedule taste-testing events and take part in food exhibits, approximately 30 a year. The oldest producer of miso in the U.S. (South River) admits never having held in-store taste-testing events even though a product promotion means a 50% subsidy, which is not the case for us.
- Our equivalent in the United States, natural miso produced by South River Miso Co., certified organic, with a long fermentation period, non-pasteurized and high in quality, sells at a price comparable to ours. Plus, it is almost impossible to find Japanese style miso produced in the traditional way in North America. Japanese born Quebec residents admit having found in our products long forgotten miso flavors. Quality miso produced in Japan stays in Japan.
- We use only top quality ingredients. For the main ingredient, the soybean, we select a local organic soybean very high in protein content. Some producers opt for a soy cake, a commercial by product that is 3 to 5 times less expensive. Our rice, organic wholegrain, semi polished Arborio rice – wonderful to taste – comes from Italy. A number of producers use broken rice that is 6 to 8 times less expensive. We feel that the quality of the basic ingredients directly influences the quality of the finished product.
- Most of our equipment comes from the U.S. Packaging costs 3 times more in Quebec than in the U.S. (there is power in numbers). We purchase it in smaller quantities than commercial miso producers. The same applies to all of the promotional material.
- In Quebec, in order to survive the Wal Mart phenomenon where price generally comes first, we need to stand out in offering a very high quality product. There is a price to pay, the value placed on our work and a retail price that includes both the distributor mark-up (25% to 30%) and the retailer mark-up (35 to 50% of the sale price).
- Taste our miso, compare, and you will discover the difference.