My reasons for introducing Koji to the world
Your keywords such as ‘seasoning with no additives,’ ‘Japanese fermented seasonings’ or ‘no sugar added seasoning’ must have directed you to come to my site, or you might have even typed the keyword ‘Koji’ to reach out. In any case, you are very welcome to visit my site.
In October 2019, I visited San Francisco for a week to celebrate 20 years of being together with my French husband, leaving our daughters at grandparents’ in Tokyo. One of my favorite things to when visiting another country is checking local supermarkets to see the interests of local people and how people live in the region. It had been 23 years since I have left the US after my 7 years of stay as a student. I was quite surprised to see how American people have become health conscious since then. Is it because I was living in Atlanta 23 years ago, and we were visiting San Franisico this time, or it is juste a difference of Eastern and Western side of the US??
In any case, at least here, the word ‘organic’, ‘probiotics’ and ‘doing well for your gut’ were becoming big keywords to Californian people. I saw Miso, Kimuchi, Saurkrauts in freezers which are veritable fermented food with plenty of probiotics in them. So I am convinced that you will like my propositions for extra alternatives to your Gut friendly products lineup. And I am also sure that health conscious people of all over the world would truly appreciate what Koji has to offer.
No Koji, no Japanese food
First and most of all, my aim is to let Koji travel the world and fit it in a modern westernized food as much as possible. Koji is a micro organism which live in barley or rice. In order to make a good use out of it, we make it inoculate on rice, it is called Rice-Koji (Kome-koji) so it will become a starter of Japanese cuisine’s traditional fermented condiments such as soy sauce, miso, mirin, rice-vinegar, and drink such as sake, shochu and amazake. Surprisingly, it is even rare that Japanese can explain what Koji is correctly, despite the importance of its existence.
What Koji does is, once it sits with starch under ideal conditions (which means it is being fermented), Koji breaks it down into glucose so that it gives a sweet taste . It also breaks protein into amino acid so it gives an umami taste. So it means if we make a good use of koji, we can enjoy seasoning our meals without added sugar or artificial additives. Koji also breaks down protein so it makes meat softer in texture. The fermentation process by Koji ‘digest’ the food partially before you eat, so it gives less burden to your digestive organs as well.
What is interesting is Koji does it for its own living practice. As human breathe for living, Koji breaks (more precisely the enzymes that Koji gives, break) the products into smaller level so that human can benefit from its work. Yes, in such case, we call it ‘fermentation’, only when what the micro organisms do to us are beneficial. When they cause harm, it is ‘decomposition’.
What 【Atelier de Koji】 has to offer -Ketchups without added sugar!
Since I discovered the endless potential of Koji, my kitchen became a laboratory and my fridge is just full of experimental food being fermented ( to the point that only a small space is left for me to stock fresh stuff from supermarket).
My first products that I decided to share with you, that I sense, can be beneficial for western food are Ketchups without additives nor added sugar. But they are ‘sweetened’ with Amazake and mirin (rice based glucose, which has much nutrition) There are three gourmet savories.
Classique: Has three types of fermented products: Apple vinegar, Mirin, and Amazake
Japonais: Has four types of fermented products: Black vinegar, Soy sauce, Mirin and Amazake
Gastronomique: Has three types of fermented products: Balsamique vinegar, Mirin and Amazake
It had been successful among the people who prefer eating naturally or who are even vegan as they try to avoid refined sugar as much as possible.
Don’t worry, they are good, as the recipes are made by myself who have lived 15 years in France, the country of gourmet!
What’s next…. Fermented Koji Soybean Flakes!
As I myself passed 40, ad eat less and less meat, and sometime just want to eat light but with distinctive flavor, I came up with a new product which will be in sale starting from November 2019.
It is called fermented Koji Soybean flakes. ⇒To learn more
I simply fell in love with this products which exists since Edo era (400 years ago)and the method of production haven’t almost changed since then. I have visited a producer in August. The head of this small plant who have been carrying over the business for over 7 generations openly accepted my new project of introducing this amazing seasoning to western people by adding extra herbs so the taste becomes more familiar for them.
Its intense umami replaces any animal/fish products for vegans. Nature (plain fermented Koji soybean) is available for foreign customers from my store but I recommend Provençale which have French provence herb mix and garlic taste. My favorite way to eat is just sprinkle the flake over the toast with olive oil. You will just fall in love with this simple Umami power.
On top of that, it is SYNBIOTICS! (combining probiotics and prebiotics), it is just full of
lactic acid, definitely good for your gut!
Being ‘Ambassador’ for Japanese food as I spent over 22 years overseas and having French husband and girls at home (who are not always open to eat Japanese food all the time), I have been naturally ‘translating’ Japanese condiments to something easily accessible for western people for half of my life.
My new challenge to start up a company and offer people a rather gourmet seasoning by mixing Japanese traditional fermented condiments with western herbs was a meant-to-be-job for me.
I hope I can reach out to as many people as possible.
I also recommend my products to Japanese people who are looking for alternatives for healthy condiments, as Japan is the 1st country to authorize the highest numbers of additives in food. Letting Japanese discover the the endless potential of Koji and make them benefit the maximum from it is also my mission that I have given myself for rest of my life.
Any questions, thought, or if you need assistance for purchase, please feel free to write in English or French to: firstname.lastname@example.org
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