History of Soy Sauce, Shoyu, and Tamari - Page 7

by William Shurtleff and Akiko Aoyagi

A Chapter from the Unpublished Manuscript, History of Soybeans and
Soyfoods, 1100 B.C. to the 1980s

©Copyright 2004 Soyfoods Center, Lafayette, Californi

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1800-1899. Soy sauce must have been quite popular in England in the early 1800s for at that time the poet Lord Byron (1788-1824 Ref??) wrote: "From travellers accustom'd from a boy/To eat their salmon, at the least, with soy." As part of this long English tradition, Ramsbottom noted over a century later (1936), "Cruets always had their soy bottle," cruets being glass bottles used to hold a condiment (as oil or vinegar) for use at the dining table.

Between the late 1700s and the mid-1800s various British food and seasoning companies and many British families began to develop a host of table sauces based on soy sauce plus vinegar, horseradish, garlic, oysters or anchovies, various spices, and other piquant ingredients. Sauces such as these, but containing no soy, had been made in the West since ancient times. The Romans, for example, had an anchovy sauce called garum (Sakaguchi 1979). One of the most popular of the new breed of soy-based sauces was called Harvey's. It was first commercialized in the late 1700s and reached its peak of popularity between 1850 and 1900. Recipes for the sauce were given in cookbooks throughout the 1800s. According to Richard Dolby's The Cook's Dictionary of 1832 (Ref??), it was prepared by mixing soy sauce, anchovies, walnut pickle, shallots, and lots of cayenne and garlic with a vinegar base and cochineal for coloring. The mixture was stirred two or three times a day for 14 days, then strained, bottled, and corked. In Culinary Jottings for Madras (1885) Colonel Kenney-Herbert wrote: "Amongst sauces I consider Harvey's the best for general use . . . I denounce `Worcester Sauce' and `Tapp's Sauce' as agents far too powerful to be trusted to the hands of the native cook" (David 1970). Law's Grocer's Manual (c. 1892, Ref??) asserted that "soy forms the chief base of nearly all the bottled sauces and relishes on the market."

Of all the early British soy-based sauces, the ones that eventually became most popular worldwide was Worcestershire sauce. Like Harvey's, it helped to introduce soy sauce to the West in a form unlike any known in East Asia. According to records in company archives and to Stobart (1970), in about 1837, the year Queen Victoria ascended the throne, a retired governor of Bengal (Sir Sandys or Lord Sandys) went to two pharmacists named Mr. Lea and Mr. Perrins in Worcester, England, and asked that a recipe he had brought back from India be made up. This was done but when it was ready the ex-governor said it was of poor quality and rejected it. The matter was forgotten until some months or years later when Mr. Lea and Mr. Perrins were cleaning out their cellar and the old barrel was discovered. On tasting it, they found that it was now piquant and delicious. As they still had the recipe, they began to make it for local consumption, and in about 1838 they introduced it commercially as a rival to Harvey's. The sauce quickly became very popular and by the late 1840s it was used in the homes of many noble families and was starting to be exported.

A key reason for the popularity of Worcestershire, Harvey's, and other related sauces was their suitability for use on ships where they kept well on long sea voyages and helped relieve the monotony of the staple foods served to both the crew and passengers. The pursers of early shipping lines helped to spread their popularity around the world. For example, in June 1843, it was recorded that "The cabin of The Great Western had been regularly supplied with Lea and Perrins; Worcestershire Sauce, which is adapted for every variety of dish--from turtle to beef, from salmon to steaks, all of which it gives a famous relish" (Ref??) (The earliest mention of Worcestershire Sauce cited by the Oxford English Dictionary was 1889; Murray 1919) From the outset, Worcestershire sauce contained imported soy sauce as its most important ingredient; the better varieties contained up to 30%, the cheaper ones only 10-15%. This soy sauce was probably imported to England by the British East India Company and/or Crosse & Blackwell, probably from India and, after the 1870s, perhaps also directly from Japan. In addition to soy sauce, other important ingredients were vinegar (about 30%), lime juice, onions, tamarind, and small amounts of the juice of salt anchovies or pickled herrings, garlic, red chilies, ginger, and other spices. The mixed ingredients were macerated and aged in oak hogsheads until mature, in buildings that conveyed the atmosphere of a fine winery. In 1932 Blumenthal and Thor in New York wrote "Worcestershire Sauce Manufacture," stating that imported soy sauce, diluted with blackstrap molasses, was the fundamental ingredient of Worcestershire sauce, comprising 15% of its volume. Other main ingredients included cider vinegar (50%), spiced vinegar (10%), walnut catsup (15%), and six other minor ingredients. The spices were mostly in the spiced vinegar. The walnut catsup also contained about 20% soy sauce. During the following decades (the starting date is not known), part or all of the soy sauce in Worcestershire sauce began to be replaced by the less expensive hydrolyzed vegetable protein (HVP). Today, the replacement has become complete. Fermented soy sauce is no longer used.

In 1862 Eugene Simon, who had lived for many years in East Asia, wrote a long letter to the Society for Acclimatization in France. In it, he discussed the production of soy sauce, which he called "le soja." Note again that the French used the word "soja" to refer to "soy sauce" before they used it to refer to soybeans. Simon noted that "some years ago it enjoyed a marked success in America, England, and Holland, as in India, where it was first introduced. Today the popularity remains only in America." Apparently the drop in imports was caused by difficulties in shipping the product through the tropics, around the southern tip of Africa. It went across the Pacific Ocean to the West Coast of the United States. Simon encouraged the French to make shoyu in France, saying that "nothing could be easier." He continued, "This is a very important industry in Japan. There are more than six factories in the city of Nagasaki and each occupies an average of 700-800 square meters. Each year they produce 1.2 million kilograms of shoyu." After giving a 500-word description of how shoyu was made in Japan (by far the best to date in a European language) he noted that shoyu must ferment for at least one year, "but when one wants an extra fine Soja, it must be left for three years." According to Simon, the best quality shoyu came from the first turns of the first pressing. It was sold at a very high price to the nobility and the rich in the capital cities of Edo (Tokyo) and Miyako (Kyoto). The typical people used the basic liquid from the first pressing and the poor used that made by mixing the presscake with salt water and letting it stand for 6 months, then repressing. The Europeans in China or Japan who used it, added it to beef or beef bouillon, to which it imparted a most agreeable color and flavor.

In 1874 Dr. J.J. Hoffmann, German chief staff surgeon in Japan, wrote the first Western journal article about shoyu production. Entitled "On the Preparation of Shoyu, Sake, and Mirin," it described the shoyu-making process in detail, saying that the product was fermented for 3-5 years. It then noted:

In Japan shoyu is as indispensable as rice and its use is as widespread as tea or tobacco. The rich man and the poor man use it in the same way, as the main spice at their meals, only they use different grades. There is no household, in fact no meal, where it is not present . . . There are four grades, the price of the highest being three times that of the lowest . . . As an article for export in trade, shoyu has not gained much significance, despite great efforts. During shipping, there is a buildup of mold which impairs the good flavor and aroma. The best varieties of shoyu, however, are very pleasing to the taste of Europeans and at the same time very effective in stimulating the appetite and the digestion. For these reasons and because it is completely harmless, shoyu is preferred to many European sauces that serve the same purpose.

Hoffmann's article was in volume 1 of the highly influential Journal of the German Asiatic Society of Japan , which would later carry key articles on shoyu and koji by Langgaard, Korschelt, Kellner, and Loew, all before 1900.

Dr. Joannes Leunis of Hannover in his Synopsis der Pflanzenkunde (1877) mentioned that soy sauce, widely used to season most foods in India, China, and Japan, was also used in Europe to improve gravies and the sauce for pork sausage. In 1877, Prof. Haberlandt of Vienna became the first Westerner to give a critical opinion of soy sauce. He was obviously referring not to Japanese shoyu, but to a sweetened soy sauce from Southeast Asia. "Soy sauces ( Sojasaucen ), which spread out from England over the continent and were imported from India, cannot possibly awaken a favorable opinion of the soybean, for they are strongly adulterated with burnt sugar (molasses) and perhaps other ingredients, so that the soybean's own flavor is completely masked." In 1878 Haberlandt stated that "soy sauce is imported to England from India by Crosse and Blackwell in London." Haberlandt's statement is thought provoking. Why was the soy sauce imported from India rather than Japan? Was it made in India, Japan, China, or Southeast Asia? By whom? Why and by whom was molasses added? The addition of molasses suggests a product of Southeast Asian origin, as from Indonesia or Canton.

It is also interesting to note that Crosse and Blackwell, which traces its origin to 1706, got its present name in 1830 when Mr. Crosse and Mr. Blackwell bought out the former firm that preserved foods for victualling long distance vessels. During the 1800s they became renowned for their quality sauces, pickles, and condiments, which were sold mainly to the nobility and gentry. By 1840 they began exports, first to India. The containers in which they sold their products were as prized as their contents. In 1960 the Nestle^ Company acquired Crosse and Blackwell.

After the opening of Japan to trade with the West in the mid-1800s, shoyu began to be exported by the Japanese. In 1868 Japanese settlers to Hawaii took shoyu with them and during the 1870s Kikkoman shoyu won prizes in and started to be exported to Europe, as described earlier under Japanese history.

During the 1870s professor Albert Langgaard, who taught at Tokyo Imperial University, took great interest in shoyu and even visited Noda and Choshi to study its manufacture. In 1878, in an article on tofu, he devoted several sentences to it, calling it "shoyu." According to Japanese sources (Tamura and Hirano 1971??), on his return to Switzerland, he helped with the development of a similar product, which is sold to this day as "Maggi," apparently a corruption of the name of the Mogi family of Kikkoman. The company that now makes Maggi, however, says they have never heard of Langgaard or his work.

The first major revolution in shoyu production in Japan was the result largely of the discovery by European scientists during the 1860s and 1870s?? of the existence of microorganisms and enzymes. As discussed in detail in the previous chapters on the "History of Fermentation," and the "History of Miso," extensive studies of the microbiology and fermentation of shoyu and koji started in Tokyo during the 1870s and 1880s. The history of the study of the shoyu mold Aspergillus oryzae is given there. Prominent researchers included Korschelt (1878), Ahlburg (1878), Atkinson (1881), and Cohn (1884).

In 1879 E. Kinch published the first?? analysis of the composition of shoyu, showing that one liter of shoyu contained 31 grams of sugars and 41 grams of nitrogenous substances (Fesca 1898).

In 1880 Paillieux of the Society for Acclimatization in France discussed soy sauce under the French version of its Chinese name, tsiang yeou . He noted that it was sold in England under the name "India Soy," was pitch black and rather unappealing, and could be found at Messrs. Crosse and Blackwell, Soho Square. He then published a detailed practical recipe for making shoyu in France by an unnamed correspondent. The writer, who observed the process in southern Japan and heard about how it was made in the north of Japan, actually made his own shoyu (apparently noncommercially) in France using 3 parts soybeans and 2 parts naked barley. He suggested that French people who could not get soybeans could substitute peas, then concluded noting that in Japan "there is no village, however small, that does not have a soy sauce manufacturer. It is also made in private homes." Continuing his interest in shoyu, Paillieux gave a lecture on it to members of his society in 1885 and distributed samples in crocks imported by MM. J. de Vigan and Co. He urged his listeners "not to confuse the shoyu of Japan with the India Soy which is sold in London and Paris, and which is but a poor imitation." He recommended its use in place of meat juices, adding that "a teaspoonful of shoyu added to ordinary bouillon makes the latter much better." His praise for its use in Western dishes knew no bounds:

It is marvellous in wine sauce (court-bouillon) for cooking fish, can be added with benefit to the juice of beefsteak, has a nice effect with cold meats in salads, and finally is incomparable in scrambled eggs . . . So you see it is not necessary to be Japanese to find new uses for shoyu. When a cordon-bleu cook uses it, his cuisine is transformed, becoming much better, yet without anyone noticing that he has used moderate doses of this celebrated sauce.

Kikkoman would use almost the same message in introducing shoyu to the West 100 years later.

In 1889 another Frenchman, Stift (writing in German??) studied the composition of shoyu (Li and Grandvoinnet 1911-12??). Also in 1889 (1899??, if so, relocate) Rein, who had lived in East Asia, gave a long and detailed account of regular Japanese shoyu, which he studied Kyoto. He referred to it as shoyu throughout, noting that both the terms "soja" and "soy" were corruptions of the Japanese name. Rein stated that the shoyu fermentation time varied from 20 months to 5 years, generally beginning in autumn after the soybean harvest. The pure dark-brown color and the

agreeable aroma accompanying it, together with a bitter taste, are developed generally between the third and fifth year. The shoyu which is most prized for its odor and taste is obtained only by mingling equal quantities of three-year and five-year product . . . Shoyu proves an excellent means for sharpening the appetite and aiding digestion.

Also in 1889 Belohoubek, a Czech, wrote an article on shoyu. In 1893 Koenig (Ref??) estimated that the Japanese consumed 2-3 fluid ounces of shoyu a day, which would make the annual consumption 300-400 million gallons (1.1 to 1.5 million kiloliters). This estimate was probably much too high (see Fig. ??.

In 1895 Dr. Oscar J. Kellner, a German professor at Tokyo University, who had published detailed studies of koji and miso in English, wrote "Ueber die Bereitung von Sake, Shoyu, und Miso," one of the best studies of shoyu to date. He stated that the brine fermentation took from 8 months to 5 years, that the finished product consisted of a mixture of shoyus of various ages combined to improve the total flavor and aroma, and that the best shoyu was made of equal parts of 3-year and 5-year shoyu. The shoyu presscake, after being mixed with salt water, fermented, and re-pressed, was used as fertilizer. Kellner gave a nutritional analysis of shoyu, then stated that in 1888-89 Japan's 10,634 shoyu manufacturers produced an annual total of 234,000 kl or 61.9 million gallons of shoyu; per capita consumption was about 5.5?? liters (1.45 gallons) a year. In 1895 and 1896 H.C. Prinsen Geerligs, a Dutch scientist living in Indonesia, gave detailed descriptions of the production of Chinese soy sauce (using black soybeans) and Japanese shoyu, including analyses of the latter done by Koenig and Kellner.

In 1897 Dr. Oscar Loew, professor of agricultural chemistry at Tokyo Imperial University, wrote a detailed article in German "On the Preparation of Shoyu-Sauce," with emphasis on the chemical composition and changes during processing. He estimated the daily per capita shoyu consumption in Japan to be 80 ml and the yearly production to average 586,300 kl, which was probably a little high. He concluded by suggesting ways that the fermentation time could be reduced from the typical 2 years to avoid tying up capital for so long: crushing the grains and beans finer, heating the moromi mash to 35-40°C to accelerate the fermentation, and adding less than 1% unrefined sake to improve the aroma. "Under these conditions," he stated proudly, "we have produced very good shoyu in 2 months!" It was in no small part due to the influence of Westerners like Loew that the Japanese began to experiment with alternatives to their 200-year-old traditional shoyu-making process. (But see Nishimura 1897).

In 1898 Fesca gave a review of information on shoyu. Concerning chemical changes he noted: "Through this long, slow fermentation process, some of the starch is transformed into dextrin and sugar. Then lactic and acetic acids are formed, as are aromatic compounds, but little is known of their amount of composition." He cited E. Kinch's 1879 analysis of the composition of shoyu, then estimated Japanese shoyu production to be about 225,000 kl, and stated that the shoyu imported to England and America was used mostly for making English and American sauces (presumably Worcestershire).

The first company in Europe to make a soy-sauce-like seasoning was the firm of Maggi in Kempttal, Switzerland, which began making dehydrated soups. In 1886 Julius Maggi, the company's founder, made the world's first HVP and used it as the basis of his Maggi seasoning (Olsman 1979). (As mentioned before, some Japanese believe that he was aided initially by Prof. A. Langgaard, who had done research on shoyu in Japan.) By the late 1890s the product was used as the basis for bouillon cubes. In 1947 Maggi was acquired by the Nestle^ Company and today Maggi seasoning is Maggi's main product. It's only ingredients are water, HVP, and salt. Maggi has never produced a fermented soy sauce. The product was used as the basis for bouillon cubes. It is not known when Maggi began using soybeans?? as the basis of its HVP, but it was probably doing so by the first decade?? of the 20th century, which would make this product the first "soy sauce" manufactured in Europe??. A soy-based HVP soy sauce similar to Maggi's but called Sojawurze was being made in Germany by 1927 by Prof. Ehrhorn of (which company ??) (Horvath 1927).

1900 to 1980s. In the early 1900s Germany was widely considered the world's leader in science and, more specifically, in microbiology. Hence numerous Japanese microbiologists studied in German and prior to World War I published articles on shoyu in German, in either Japanese or German journals. Through these articles Europeans (especially Germans) learned much more about shoyu and other Japanese fermented soyfoods. In 1907 K. Saito gave the most detailed description to date of the shoyu production process and its microbiology. In 1907 U. Suzuki and co-workers reported on the chemical composition of shoyu, indicating a brine fermentation of 1-3 years. Yoshimura (1909) reported on the chemical composition of "tamari-shoyu" and Hanzawa (1912) analyzed the molds and composition of tamari koji. Kita (1913) wrote an excellent, very detailed description of the Japanese shoyu industry and the shoyu-brewing process, accompanied by many photographs.

In 1907 Bloch, writing in French, in two long articles on soybeans and soyfoods, estimated Japanese shoyu production to be 500,000 to 700,000 kl.

In 1911-12 Li Yu-ying and Grandvoinnet published detailed information in French about Chinese soy sauce ( jiangyou ) as well as Japanese, Vietnamese, and Indonesian soy sauces. Li was not only the first Chinese to write about soy sauce in a European language, he was also apparently the first person of any nationality to manufacture fermented soy sauce in Europe. By 1911 Li was making a Chinese-style soy sauce in Paris, using a pure culture fermentation. Maybe before Maggi?? (Li and Grandvoinnet 1911-12).

In 1923 Kempski (of Germany) stated that Japan produced 650,000 kl of soy sauce a year, and that the 57 million inhabitants therefore used 11.4 liters a year or 31 cc (2 tablespoons) daily. Horvath (1927) wrote a long section on "soy sauce." He thought that the best East-Asian soy sauce was Japanese tamari (wheat free); he was the first Westerner to mention tamari. In Germany, he said, Oriental soy sauce was sold at the majority of big grocery stores, and the famous Lea and Perrins Worcestershire sauce, which was nothing but a highly spiced Oriental soy sauce, was being used in China by wealthy Chinese. He gave detailed analyses of Japanese shoyu and tamari and of Chinese soy sauce, stated that soy sauce contained enzymes capable of enhancing the digestion of proteins and carbohydrates from 4 to 32 times, summarized many studies from Japan, and noted that in Germany that Prof. Ehrhorn had made a soy flour which he was hydrolyzing chemically to make an HVP soy sauce called Sojawurze, similar in flavor to the well-known Maggi cubes. Also in 1927 Horvath and Liu published a medical study on "The Effect of Soy Sauce on Blood Sugar and Phosphorus."

During the late 1950s and 1960s the macrobiotic teachers George and Lima Ohsawa did pioneering work on introducing naturally-fermented shoyu to Europe. Then an unusual series of events took place which later created considerable confusion between terms "tamari" and "shoyu." As Lima Ohsawa recalled in 1983:

In about 1958 or 1959 George Ohsawa gave a lecture at a university in Hamburg, West Germany. The lecture hall was packed with some 400 to 500 people. Among them was a young man who was running an organic school in Germany. After the lecture he went to Mr. Ohsawa and earnestly enquired about various aspects of the Unique Principle.

At that time there was also some talk about shoyu. As soon as he tasted this shoyu, he registered the word "shoyu" as his own trademark and brand name, so that only he could sell it under this name. We came to know about this later and thought that it was a terrible thing for him to do. We were troubled by his action, for in Germany the law concerning registered trademarks was very strict. Therefore, in Germany, we were unable to call shoyu by its proper name, "shoyu." Out of sheer necessity, we decided to call shoyu by the name "tamari." After that, people in Europe started to call shoyu by the name "tamari."

In Japan we call the liquid from soybean miso by the name "tamari-shoyu," and it has been used in fine restaurants and for high class recipes. It is a type of shoyu.

After this incident, shoyu came to be called tamari. People overseas started to become familiar with the product and its new name, and they came to be used regularly.

Another version of the story, perhaps apocryphal, has it that in about 1960 when the Lima Foods company in Belgium first started importing this traditional, natural shoyu from Japan, they asked Ohsawa what they should call the product to distinguish it from both regular commercial shoyu and from chemical soy sauce. Ohsawa suggested that Lima call the product "natural shoyu," since that was its name in Japan. Lima Foods said that the word "shoyu" seemed somewhat difficult to pronounce (in French and Dutch) and asked for alternatives. Ohsawa mentioned that words like "tamari" and "murasaki" were also used in Japan to refer to traditional soy sauces. Lima Foods liked the word "tamari," finding it short, distinctive, and easy to pronounce. So they decided to call their natural shoyu "tamari." Ohsawa eventually came to use this terminology in his teaching and writing, and it was picked up and popularized by the world macrobiotic movement, which played a key role in introducing the product to the West.

Yet little did any of these well-meaning people foresee the confusion that would result from this misnomer as people in the West became familiar with both natural shoyu and real tamari, and as distributors began to sell both these fine seasonings.

The first macrobiotic "tamari" was made in Europe starting in 1958 by Lima Food company, under the supervision of Pierre Gevaert and Ohsawa. The first product, made from equal parts soybeans and wheat and aged for 3 years, went on the market in 1961. It had a rich flavor and thick consistency. But by 1967 the company had so much unsold stock that it was forced to stop production.

In part because of the early and ongoing influence of Maggi, a considerable amount of hydrolyzed vegetable protein (HVP, roughly 35,000 tons in 1981) continued to be produced in Europe and used in soy sauce. It was also used in bouillon cubes, soups, Worcestershire sauce, and Maggi seasoning. Large manufacturers included Imperial Chemical Industries (England) and Nestle (Switzerland??)

During the 1970s and 1980s the most important and original research and development work on soy sauce in Europe was done at the Department of Applied Microbiology, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, Scotland, under the direction of Dr. Brian Wood. In 1974 F.M. Yong and Wood published "Microbiology and Biochemistry of Soy Sauce Fermentation," a remarkable and definitive 38-page study containing 270 references, many of them in Japanese or Chinese, which the authors summarized in English. In 1971 Yong had written his MS thesis in Glasgow on soy sauce fermentation. Yong and Wood (1976) did additional experimental work, developing a method for making good quality soy sauce in about one month by fermenting the moromi mash at 40°C, having inoculated it with bacteria ( Lactobacillus delbrueckii ) and yeasts ( Saccharomyces rouxii ). They?? planned to open a soy sauce plant in Scotland with a capacity of 500 tonnes tons (424 kl) per year in March 1982??. Wood's students at Strathclyde published many papers, theses, and dissertations on fermented soyfoods.



Early Soy Sauce Manufacture in the West?? (to 1950) . Samuel Bowen ?? The first reference to soy sauce in America appeared in 1804 in The Domestic Encyclopedia , by Mease. Under the heading "Soy," the entry read: "SOY, or Sooju, is a species of liquid condiment, which is imported from India, and is used as a sauce for fish. It is prepared from the leguminous fruit of the Soja ( Dolichos soja , L.) a native of Japan." After repeating Kaempfer's exact 200-word description of how the product is made, Mease concluded: "Soy possesses a strongly saline taste, but has only a slightly aromatic flavor; it is chiefly used at the tables of the luxurious; and is one of these artificial stimulants of the palate, which deserves no condemnation, especially for vitiated or relaxed habits." Almost as an afterthought he noted that "The Soy-bean bears the climate of Pennsylvania very well. The bean ought therefore to be cultivated." This description, written long before the term "soy sauce" was coined, shows clearly that at this early date, the sauce was much better known than the beans from which it was made, and that it was considered a food of the upper classes.

During the 1800s, soy sauce was referred to in American publications from time to time after its initial detailed mention by Mease in 1804. Most of these references were based on information presented by Mease, and the product was usually referred to simply as "soy," following Mease's usage. References to "soy" are found in Nuttall (1829), Browne (1855), the American Agriculturalist (1874; it noted that "soy was formerly more used than at present"), Georgeson et al. (1891; he was the first American to refer to the sauce as "shoyu," probably since he had lived in Japan), and Flagg and Towar (1893). Shoyu was so poorly understood in America that in 1896, when Trimble wrote his otherwise excellent "Recent Literature on the Soja Bean," his only reference to shoyu was very brief and incorrect: "The celebrated shoyu or soy, a bean sauce, is a product said to be made from the soja bean, although it is probable that the small variety, Phaseolus radiatus [azuki bean] is used for this purpose." In 1897 Langworthy, in "Soybeans as Food for Man," showed an unusually good understanding of the product:

Shoyu is a sauce prepared from a mixture of cooked and pulverized soybeans, roasted and pulverized wheat, wheat flour, salt, and water. The mass is fermented with rice wine ferment in casks for from 1 1/2 to 5 years, being very frequently stirred . . . Under the name of soy sauce it has been known in India, and to some extent in Europe, for many years.

He then gave a nutritional analysis. By "rice wine ferment" he clearly meant koji , which is also used to make sake.

The third fermented soy sauce known to be made in the United States was being made in 1908 in Honolulu, Hawaii, by the Hawaiian Yamajo Soy Company (Krauss 1908; Wilcox 1909). Sahr (1913) reported that brewing Japanese soy sauce had become a well-established industry in Hawaii, where it was fermented for 6-18 months. He inspected several of the largest factories.

In 1918 William Morse reported that although there were no soy sauce factories in the United States, considerable quantities were imported and sold at Chinese stores in most cities. Americans apparently used this soy sauce mostly with Chinese-style dishes such as Chop Suey and Chow Mein.

The third earliest known manufacturer of soy sauce (actually shoyu) in North America was the Oriental Show-You Company, which began production in Columbia City, Indiana in 1924. The company had been started in 1918 in Detroit by Shinzo Ohki, a Japanese man, who began by importing shoyu and tea from Japan. In 1922 Mr. Ohki went to Japan to learn the method for making soy sauce, then late that year he moved his business to Columbia City and by 1924 was making shoyu, along with mung bean sprouts, Chow Mein noodles, Chop Suey, and Jigg's Corn Beef and Cabbage. The company was quite small, making about 12,000 gallons of shoyu a year; this was sold mostly in the Midwest, and only east of the Mississippi River. In 1932 Mr. Esta Keirn joined the company and soon became the second Caucasian shoyu brewmaster in the Western world. In 1946 the firm published a 15-page booklet entitled "Oriental Recipes," showing how to use shoyu. In 1963 Beatrice Foods (which had sold La Choy HVP soy sauce since the early 1930s) acquired the company, and Mr. Keirn stayed on to supervise production of Beatrice's first fermented shoyu, sold under the La Choy?? label. Beatrice continues to make this fermented shoyu (Keirn 1981, personal communication). Keirn, who knew the soy sauce market well in the early days, knew of no other maker of fermented soy sauce in the US until about 1945, when a Japanese producer started in San Francisco. He had heard rumors about a small Chinese producer in New York but was never able to get a sample. However Morse reported in 1929 (Ref??) that soy sauce was being made in Los Angeles, Chicago, and San Francisco; no details were given. Yet in 1933 he reported that only one factory in the US made soy sauce.

The first company in North America to make nonfermented HVP (chemical) soy sauce was the A.E. Staley Manufacturing Company in Decatur, Illinois. Staley started research on HVP soy sauce in 1923 and by 1933 began wholesaling this new product in bulk to the food industry (Ref??).

One of their main customers, who had encouraged them to make the product initially, was La Choy Food Products. A report by Staley (1935) seems to indicate that they were also making a fermented product, but they never have done so, lacking knowledge of koji making. By 1955 Staley claimed to be the largest maker of soy sauce (or was it just HVP??) in the US though they still retailed none under their own label. They sold it in drums and tank cars to bottlers and food manufacturers, who used it in canned meats ( Soybean Digest 1955). In 1981 Staley was a major maker of HVP granules, seasoning powders, and sauces.

One of the earliest importers and marketers of soy sauce in America was La Choy Food Products. The company was founded in Detroit by Mr. Ilhan New (a Korean) and Wally Smith to make mung bean sprouts. Soon they were doing a booming business and by 1922 they were importing fermented soy sauce from China in wooden barrels to use as a seasoning in their Asian food products. In about 1933 they began buying HVP soy sauce from Huron Milling Co. (now Hercules) and Staley, and selling it in small bottles as La Choy Sauce. In 1942 the company moved to Archbold, Ohio and the next year was acquired by Beatrice Creamery Co. (now Beatrice Foods Co.) which by 1944 was advertising the soy sauce widely. In 1963 Beatrice/La Choy acquired the Oriental Show-You Co. and began making and marketing their first fermented soy sauce. In 1981 La Choy was the world's largest Chinese food plant, making (among other things) 110 tons of mung bean sprouts a day. Their fermented soy sauce, which accounted for 10-15% of their total soy sauce sales, was sold as Oriental Soy Sauce and, in addition to the traditional soybeans, wheat, and salt, also contained HVP, corn syrup, caramel color, water, and sodium benzoate preservative.

By 1936 a soy sauce brand-named Soyament (apparently HVP based) was being marketed to the natural foods trade in Los Angeles (Van Gundy 1936).


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