There are countless varieties of miso in Japan, the flavor of which vary depending on the ingredients they are composed of and how long they are aged or fermented. Each style plays with these ingredients: mold for the fermentation known as kojikin, soybeans, salt and/or rice, and barley.
Taste Test: Yellow Miso
Yellow miso is often labeled as barley miso as it is made from soybeans that have been fermented with barley. The color of the paste ranges from yellow to light brown in color. An easy way to decipher any miso’s flavor is to look at the depth of its color. Typically, the longer a miso has been fermented, the darker the color will be and the stronger it will taste. The lighter the paste, the sweeter it will be. A typical yellow miso carries a subtle, earthy flavor and is great for summer soups, salad dressings, marinades, and of course the classic Japanese staple, Miso Soup.
Me- so- Healthy:
In looking at the health value of light, sweet miso, it is notable that it contains a high amount of lactic acid bacteria, is high in simple sugars and typically holds about twice as much niacin as darker, saltier varieties. All-natural miso is also a living food that contains beneficial microorganisms such as Tetragenococcus Halopphilus, a bacterium that is active in the fermentation process. It is known to be an adequate source of the Vitamin B12 for vegans who cannot regularly consume it in meat products. It also contains 2 grams of protein for every 25 calories, which makes it a great, low calorie source of protein. In addition it carries a plethora of trace minerals such as zinc, manganese, and copper. Now that’s a super food!