natto

Pronunciation: [NAH-toh]

Steamed, fermented and mashed soybeans with a glutinous texture and strong cheeselike flavor. Natto is particularly popular in Japan, where it's used as a flavoring and table condiment and is greatly favored served over rice for breakfast. It's often mixed with other ingredients such as mustard, soy sauce and chives.

From The Food Lover's Companion, Fourth edition by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst. Copyright © 2007, 2001, 1995, 1990 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc.

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