There are few Japanese foods more polarizing than natto. It's made by boiling soybeans and then fermenting them with a microbe that's naturally found on rice straw. This imparts a nutty flavor reminiscent of a ripe soft cheese while giving it a sticky and very slimy texture.
This one-two punch of odor and texture turns a lot of people off, and even within Japan, natto has its detractors. In our household, my daughter and I love it, but my wife can't stand it. As someone who hates cheese, it's an odor issue for her.
I love the flavor of natto, but I've learned to combine it with less offensive foods to keep the peace at the dinner table. With its own pungent smell, Kimchi is a great way to cover up some of the more funky notes of natto, and I love the flavor it adds.
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