A great story on making soy sauce the ancient way

By Elliot Stein and Mari Shibata for the BBC in Is Japan Losing It’s Umami?

When it’s aged and fermented in a wooden barrel, soy sauce can be as sophisticated as a fine wine, but today, most of the world dips its sushi in the equivalent of a cheap cask rosé. That’s because in order to keep up with demand and increase production in the late 1940s, the Japanese government encouraged brewers to ditch the traditional wooden barrels used to ferment food, known as kioke, adapt stainless steel vats and cut the multi-year fermenting process to just three months.

A shame. When I start making “soy” sauce (out of some other bean) I’ll be using a plastic container since I don’t know where is get wooden barrels small enough for my trials. Maybe I’ll get to a time when I can make some (makeshift) barrels…