A traditional Japanese food made from fermented soybeans.

Natto is a traditional Japanese food made from fermented soybeans that produce a characteristic gooey substance during the fermentation process. If you just glimpsed it from a distance, this can look almost like a runny cheese — in fact, sometimes natto is described as having a similar aroma and flavor to the stinky cheeses. In Japan, it’s a common breakfast food and snack.

Traditionally paired with rice, soy sauce, karashi mustard, and green onion garnish, natto is also sometimes an ingredient in other dishes like okonomiyaki, sushi, or miso soup. For people not predisposed towards liking stronger foods, its pungent smell and funky texture can be an acquired taste. However, for those who do enjoy natto, they’re getting a food that’s high in protein, good fats, vitamins, minerals, and fiber, low in sodium and cholesterol, and full of good bacteria to keep your gut happy. If that sounds like your thing, you can find over a dozen varieties of Natto in our grocery coolers.