Hatcho Miso

Hatcho Miso

Registration Number 49
Name of the GI Hatcho Miso
Class Processed Foodstuffs
Date of Protection 2017/12/15
Producing Area Aichi Prefecture
Applicant – Name and Address

Aichi Miso Tamari Shoyu Cooperative Society

1-16-7 Sakae, Naka Ward, Nagoya City, Aichi Prefecture

http://www.aichimisotamari.or.jp

Producing Area

Hatcho Miso (also written Hatchō Miso) is a miso produced in Aichi Prefecture. It is distinguished from other varieties of miso by its deep red-brown color and unique flavor, which is characterized by moderate acidity, strong umami, and bitterness and astringency.
 Compared to other miso-producing areas, which use rice (or wheat) in addition to soybeans and salt as their main ingredients, Hatcho Miso is produced solely from soybeans and salt.
 Reflecting the preference of the people of Aichi Prefecture for foods with strong flavors, Hatcho Miso has long established itself as a typical condiment used to create "Nagoya Meshi" (1) or Nagoya local cuisine such as Miso katsu (fried cutlets with a Hatcho miso sauce), Miso oden (a type of oden or hotpot in which food simmers in a broth flavored by Hatcho Miso), Misonikomi (a noodle dish in which Hatcho Miso is used to season the stock), Miso nabe (a hearty hot-pot dish, usually cooked at the table, with a stock flavored by Hatcho Miso), etc.

First, miso balls over 20mm in diameter and over 50mm in length are molded from steamed soy beans. They are then covered with a koji starter, which is incubated to produce a mash.
 Next, the mash is mixed with salt and water, then placed in casks on which weights are placed. The miso is ripened and aged for a period of not less than one summer.
 Finally, the product is shipped to market after confirmation that it exhibits the characteristics of Hatcho Miso, such as the distinctive taste (acidity, umami, bitterness and astringency) and color (reddish-brown).

Summers in Aichi Prefecture are hot and humid, leading to increase a risk of spoilage during the process of preparing koji cultures. Therefore, in order to produce miso safely, a production method was developed in which miso balls are created from just soybeans and salt, with a koji starter culture then being added. This is called "Misodama-Zukuri Seihou" (the miso-ball production method). This production method has a long history, having become established over two-hundred years ago during the Tenpo (1830-1844), Koka (1844-1848) and Kaei (1848-1854) eras of Japanese history.
 Further, the characteristics of Hatcho Miso, namely its deep color and moderate acidity, along with strong umami, bitterness and astringency--characteristics not found in miso produced elsewhere--emerged through the efforts of local craftsmen to adapt to the environmental conditions of Aichi Prefecture, which has humid summers that hasten the decomposition of soy beans during the miso aging process.

  1. "Nagoya Meshi" is a neologism that signifies the famous cuisine of Nagoya City in Aichi Prefecture and the greater Nagoya region. It may be translated as Nagoya local cuisine. Characteristics include strong flavors produced through the use of soybean miso and tamari soy sauce.

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