Natto Beans for the First Time, Live!

Natto, even among the Japanese, can be considered disgusting. It’s rotting soybeans, so what could go wrong, right?

As I type this, I’m powering my way through a single small serving of natto that I found packed in cute little polystyrene containers in an Asian-Latino market. There’s no decipherable expiration date, and it’s been sitting in my chiller for a week, but so far the experience has been slightly less gruesome than I was anticipating, the stringy alien slime notwithstanding.

Them nasty beans are some nasty kind of gooey goo-goo, not that that’s necessarily a nasty thing. Gooeyness, from what I understand, is mandatory. Included was a tiny envelope of possibly garlic-based paste and another slightly larger one of a super-salty type of soy sauce. I’ve ingested most of the slug by now, and I’m feeling a bit woozy, but that could be because I also ingested a couple of cocktails earlier this month.

Let’s talk about natto, shall we? Sorry if this has been done already, never mind that episode of Iron Chef from 1997, but what do you do with natto beside marveling at your ability to eat it?

I think it tastes like rice crispy treats made with three-day-old coffee.

Natto beans?! I get flashbacks to when i was a little kid and my mom was eating “macrobiotic” (which meant the whole family was eating macrobiotic) <shudders>.

Better or worse with durian for dessert?

You sound like someone who could help me plan a dinner party for the ages.

Sir or Madam, I stand at the ready to assist you.

May I suggest some huitlacoche if you want to add a New World food? Perhaps better known by the name “corn smut”; it’s a fungal infection of corn plants - and a pretty darned good filling for quesadillas and the like. (You know, tucked away where you can’t see it and start thinking about it.)

Well, I survived last night with neither gastrointestinal events nor, sadly, hallucinations. I’ve got two more servings left, and I feel an odd compulsion to slurp some more of that crap down. Wouldn’t want it to go “bad” after all.

Funny you should bring that up. I learned about huitlacoche just yesterday when I was looking up serving suggestions for my batch of natto. They both appear in a truly hilarious blog under the chapter entitled Steve, Don’t Eat It!

Ferret Herder, you’re not the first to come up with the idea of combining those two substances.

huitlacoche sounds terrible and looks terrible but when you stop and think about it, it is only a combination of corn and mushrooms. And it tastes like corn and mushrooms. As mentioned upthread it is a really good filling (where I suppose it is thankfully out of sight)

I don’t think you’re giving enough emphasis to the “looks terrible” part.

Behold (sensitive people should not click the link).

Eh. I mean, I wouldn’t want to handle the prep part, but I’ve eaten it in tacos and such. It’s an extremely dark mushroom, and half of those prepped food pics look like you’re using black beans.

Natto, however? The… stringy-ness? Ew.