it`s totally cool to freeze your miso!
Bought some aged (3 years), artisanal miso today and the clerk suggested I store it in the freezer. (reito in Japanese) I had never heard of that before and asked to make sure that I had not misunderstood her. "Reito" for freezer not "reizo" for fridge.
She said that it will keep much longer in the freezer. And that unlike storing it in the fridge, the color will not change (sometimes you will notice that with miso that sits around in the fridge).
She said that when you want to use it, just spoon it out. It will not freeze like an icecube but should maintain some malleability.
I am going to give it a shot - but wanted to pass on the tidbit to fellow chowhounds.
Cheers from Tokyo!
Can I tag on a question and ask about the difference in miso pastes? I know there are as many kinds and grades of miso as there are coffee, but I noticed several different types at wholefoods, and was unsure how the resulting tastes would differ. I remember seeing brown rice, barley, sweet white, mellow white and red miso.
I wasn't going to try any, because they're a bit pricey and more than I would use, but now you say I can freeze them, I think I'll have to give it a go.
You mentioned artisanal - I wonder if your artisan has a pasteurized product or if it is unpasteurized. The local artisanal miso that I buy (here in Massachusetts) is unpastuerized and they make a great deal out of the benefits of the Lactobacillus and other organisms that aid your digestion and destroy harmful microorganisms. I would assume that these living organisms would be destroyed by freezing.
I saw South River Miso for the first time in Whole Paycheck this weekend - it may be getting greater distribution (although it is available on line except during the summer). It is really wonderful stuff.