木桶の伝統が未来の多様性を生む小豆島の醤油文化
瀬戸内海に浮かぶ小豆島には、一つの島のなかに21もの醤油蔵がある。中世から盛んだった製塩業を発展させ、日本有数の醤油の生産地となった。大豆と麦にカビをつけた麹を塩水に漬け、発酵させたもろみを絞って液体調味料とする。似た製法の味噌と比べて塩分が若干高く旨味が濃い。九州では甘口醤油、東海では小麦主体でつくる淡味の白醤油など地域性のある醤油。小豆島の醤油は深く熟成させた旨味の詰まった濃口醤油を、木桶で仕込む。木桶に棲み着いた野生の微生物を使い、じっくりと発酵させた醤油は官能的なフレーバーと蔵ごとの個性をつくりだす。

Soy sauce culture in shodo-shima: The tradition of kioke bringing in the diversity of tomorrow
Located in Seto Inland Sea, the single island of Shodo-shima is host to 21 soy sauce breweries. Building on a salt industry that has flourished there since the middle ages, the island is a major center for the production of soy sauce in Japan. Koji, a malt made from soy beans and wheat that has been allowed to go moldy, is mixed with salt water. After the mixture is fermented and matured, the paste, known as moromi, is squeezed to create a liquid seasoning. Compared to miso, which is made in a similar process, soy sauce is somewhat saltier, with a thicker umami flavor. Different regional varieties of soy sauce exist throughout Japan, such as the sweetish soy sauce of Kyushu, or the lighter flavored shiro soy sauce (“white” soy sauce), made mostly from wheat, from the Tokai region. The thick-bodied soy sauce of Shodo-shima, the strong umami flavor of which comes from its deeper maturation process, is fermented in kioke (traditional cedar fermenting barrels). Harnessing the power of the microorganisms naturally occurring in the wood of the kioke, a carefully fermented soy sauce with a luscious flavor is produced, with the soy sauce of each particular brewery having its own unique quirks and character.

どう作って食べるか / HOW TO MAKE & EAT

❶蒸煮した大豆、炒った小麦を混ぜてコウジカビをつけ醤油麹にする。
❷醤油麹と塩水を混ぜて桶に仕込み、半年〜3年発酵・熟成させる。
❸熟成したもろみを搾り、熱加工(火入れ)して発酵作用を止め出荷する。
★菌の元気な暑い時期に発酵を促し、菌の動きが鈍る寒い時期に味を落ち着かせる、という季節のサイクルを利用して味を整えていく。

❶Prepare soy sauce koji by mixing steamed soybeans with roasted barley, and inoculate it with koji-kin (Aspergillus oryzae).
❷Prepare the soy sauce koji with salt water in the kioke, then allow it to ferment and mature for between six months and three years.
❸Squeeze the mature moromi, apply heat to (pasteurize) the product to halt fermentation, and bottle it.
★ The flavor of the soy sauce is carefully adjusted by harnessing the natural cycle of the seasons, with fermentation being spurred on in warmer months when the bacteria is more active, and the flavor being allowed to settle in the colder months when the bacteria is less active.

刺し身醤油として
煮物、焼き物の味付けに
As soy sauce for sashimi
As seasoning for stewed or fried dishes

食べられている地域 / Regions where it is eaten
全国津々浦々
※沖縄周辺の諸島部では伝統的には醤油は使われなかった
All throughout Japan (In the islands around Okinawa soy sauce was not traditionally used.)

微生物の種類 / Types of microorganisms
麹菌、乳酸菌類、酵母類
Koji-kin, lactic acid bacteria, yeast.

 

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