How long does miso keep? I've had a jar in my refrigerator for six months. Is it still OK to use? And, does South River Miso have a shelf life? I don’t see an expiration date.

South River Miso is technically not a perishable food, and we are not required to put an expiration date on our product. Whether opened or unopened, South River Miso will keep almost indefinitely – even for years. Indeed, we have kept some miso for as long as 20 years without spoilage, even without refrigeration. As with all foods, let your nose be the final judge.

Miso darkens with age, eventually turning black in color and less sweet to taste. Miso that has been aged for many years develops a bouquet of such depth that it touches the soul in a very nourishing way. Traditionally, such aged miso was prized for its medicinal qualities.

How much miso should I use?

Less is more. For greatest benefit, miso should be used in small amounts on a regular basis. A few teaspoons per day would be average use, which will vary from person to person depending on age, body type, size, and activity. When seasoning soup, begin by adding a small amount of miso -one to two teaspoons per cup of liquid- adding more as needed to achieve individually desired taste. The miso should mingle with the flavor of the soup and enhance, but not overpower it. When using the three year aged dark miso, less will be needed; more miso will be needed when using the light and lower salt varieties to achieve the desired seasoning. Dark and light varieties of miso can also be mixed together for a seasoning blend of both.

Which varieties have no gluten?

We make ten varieties of miso. Eight varieties are made with non-gluten ingredients: Hearty Brown Rice, Dandelion Leek, Sweet Tasting Brown Rice, Azuki Bean Miso, Chickpea Miso, Golden Millet, Sweet White, Garlic Red Pepper Miso.

Two varieties are made with barley, which contains gluten: Three Year Barley Miso and Chick Pea Barley Miso.

All ten varieties of miso are made in the same building, using the same equipment, but in separate batches. Miso containing barley is not made at the same time as the gluten-free varieties. The equipment is washed thoroughly between batches.

Are any of your varieties soy free?

Four varieties are made without soybeans: Chick Pea Barley Miso, Azuki Bean Miso, Chickpea Miso, and Garlic Red Pepper Miso.

Why does South River Miso have a chunky texture?

Chunky textured South River Miso is the natural result of intentionally following traditional methods of miso making which were universal until World War II and the advent of modern food processing equipment.

William Shurtleff writes in The Book of Miso:

“Natural miso, universally regarded as having the finest flavor, is prepared in the traditional way and has three basic characteristics: it is fermented slowly and leisurely (usually for six months to three years) at the natural temperature of its environment; it is made from only natural ingredients… and it is never pasteurized. Most natural misos have a distinctive texture imparted by clearly visible chunks of whole soybeans and koji…. Chunky miso (tsubu miso) is any variety in which the shape of the soybeans (and usually of the koji grains) is still visible. It is the oldest form of miso and comprised virtually all that was made before 1945. During the mixing and mashing of ingredients before the fermentation of natural miso, almost all of the koji and at least half the soybeans were left in their natural form. [This was due to the fact that the miso was mixed and mashed under foot rather than puréed into a smooth texture by machine. ed.] The koji gradually dissolved as the miso aged, but the beans generally retained their individual form, even after three years of fermentation, thereby lending the finished miso a distinctive, flavor-enhancing flavor.”

The Book of Miso ( page 30 and 33)
Be in touch!
South River Miso Company
888 Shelburne Falls Road
Conway, MA 01341
PH: 413.369.4057
FX: 413.369.4299

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