What the heck is tamari?
Tamari is traditionally associated with Japanese food in contrast to the more common Chinese soy sauce. It is a thicker, less salty, fermented soybean sauce that contains less wheat (if any depending on the brand thus making it “gluten-free”). It can be used in Asian and non-Asian cooking to add a full, savory, umami flavor to your dishes.
How is it made differently than regular soy sauce?
Regular soy sauce is made by cooking soybeans with roasted wheat and other grains (almost a 50/50 ratio) and adding it to a salty brine to brew, then sit for a period of time to ferment. This mixture is then pressed to extract the dark, brown liquid which we know as soy sauce.
With Tamari, the process is a bit different. Tamari is the liquid that forms when making miso paste – like the liquid sweat that forms on cheese (unlike the pressed version in regular soy sauce). When the soybeans are cooked down to ferment, little to zero wheat is added to the mixture. This makes it a great alternative for those that have gluten intolerances.
How do they compare?
- more salty
- made with a higher wheat ratio
- not gluten-free
- made from fermented soybeans
- less salty
- made with less or zero wheat
- can be gluten-free (read the bottle)
- the liquid resulting from fermented soybeans
Is tamari gluten-free?
As mentioned above, tamari can be gluten-free, but you MUST read the package. Some brands do use a small percentage of wheat during the fermentation process. Look for packages that say “gluten-free” if you suffer from any gluten allergies or intolerances.
Where can you find it?
You can find tamari in most Asian-sections of big shop grocery stores, health food stores, or even Asian markets. If all else fails, it’s on amazon.com!
We know that STOCKING your pantry is a necessary step to making healthy cooking possible on busy days. A small bottle of tamari goes a LONG way, in addition to other essential favorites we highly recommend.
Does organic matter?
Yes! In this case it does. Soybeans are one of the most common GMO (genetically modified organisms) that are sprouting up in our lovely North American farms. Whenever you buy anything soy, please make an effort to look for organic options. And if you’re not sure what GMO’s are, check this article out.
– See more at: http://www.eatlifewhole.com/2013/09/what-is-tamari-vs-soy-sauce/#sthash.rDmiyxrW.dpuf