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Who hates natto?

I know natto is good for you and most of my family (on the Japanese side) eats it regurarly. But I find the smell of natto repulsive and it gags me. I hate natto, never tried it, never will.

Anyone else hate natto?

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  1. oh man the smell just always gets to me. when I lived in Japan EVERYONE would offer it to me and laugh when I declined their offer.

    1. one of the very few Japanese foods I still can't stand.
      I grew up in Kansai (Osaka) region though, and people there are known not to like it so much for some reason, unlike Kanto (Tokyo) people, who love it. Not sure why.

      My brother on the other hand loves it.

      1. I used to hate, now I don't mind it, but given a choice, I decline...

        I have eaten where it's been put on top of an omelette with green onions and laid on a bed of rice - that wasn't bad...

        1. Seriously? I've found natto one of the least potentially offensive fermented foods. Do whatever you like, though...

          2 Replies
          1. re: trentyzan

            I know! Americans make way too big a deal about Natto. There are plenty of other foods that much more aggressively scented (stinky cheeses, for example) that no one makes a fuss about. The texture is different when compared to most western food, but If you ignore the smell, natto is actually pretty bland and boring.

            They're just beans!

            1. re: Humbucker

              I'm impressed by your ability to discern a poster's nationality merely by words typed on a screen, Humbucker. Did you note that the OP has Japanese family?

          2. The texture is a lot like okra...I love okra.

            1. One of my housemates was a Japanese man who absolutely *loved* his natto. I'd drive him over the hill from Santa Cruz to Silicon Valley, so he could buy boxes and boxes of it.

              The first time he bought it, he made me a bowl of rice and showed me how to mix up the natto in its package. I watched the mucus-like strands form with morbid curiosity, the ammoniated smell wafting swiftly across the kitchen . . .

              I ate about four bites before I gave up and blurted, "I'm sorry, I just can't eat this!" Something about the kibble in snot texture, combined with the over-the-hill brie smell, made it hard to get down without gagging. Needless to say, he laughed at me. A lot.

              1 Reply
              1. re: operagirl

                operagirl, with just your description, " kibble in snot texture, combined with the over-the-hill brie smell," i am running for the hills! (or the bathroom, whichever comes first.)

              2. I can take the taste/smell, but the texture prohibits me from eating it.

                1. The first time I had natto, I didn't know you had to stir like 500 times after you add the sauce packets. What a world of difference that made. I know people who've thrown up at the smell, but after learning the art of 500x stirring, I actually enjoy it once in a while.

                  There are many Japanese housewives receipes where the stickiness of natto is removed via cooking, and when they pair it with spaghetti amongst a ton of other dishes, that funky taste is gone.

                  Maguro natto with karashi, soy sauce, and scallions is not bad.

                  For those who love the uber stickiness, try going to your sushi-ya next time and order a natto yamaimo mekabu gunkan maki. Just don't do any French kissing afterwards.

                  Bottom line, natto ain't bad at all. I would imagine the worst of the worst stinky tofu in Taiwan is far worse (where Andrew Zimmern actually spit it out but had no qualms eating bugs and anus)

                  1. It is nasty,always avoided,declined etc.However my father loved it,saw no reason not
                    to "serve"it. GO FIGURE Natto does not belong on the table as a menu item.

                    1. If I ate a miracle fruit beforehand I might be able to tolerate natto.

                      1. I like my father's homemade natto, as it's not nearly as stinky but more creamy than anything. However, I do like commercial natto as well, just not as much, so I guess I'm in the minority.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: choctastic

                          In Kyoto dining at a friend's house, when we were pretty much done eating, her aunt took some out to offer only to me. They all giggled in anticipation. And yes, I did find it repulsive!

                          1. re: OCAnn

                            Great observations and funny website in general... I love the internet - it brings us all closer and closer... :)

                            1. re: OCAnn

                              I have seen this site before and I love the "Steve, don't eat it series"! I think that might have been the first picture I had ever seen of natto. Actually there were a number of foods (supposed) that he tries that I had never seen or even heard of before.

                            2. "I hate natto, never tried it, never will."

                              roadflix - if you've never tried it, how do you know you don't like it?

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: ipsedixit

                                I think for most, just the look is enough... that's "trying it," to them...
                                I think for those who get past the visuals, smell is the next roadblock - that's experiencing it for those braver souls...
                                I think for those who hurdle the smell factor, it's on to the grand finale - Remember Cheech & Chong's "Chabornick"? "Taste..." "What?" "Taste!" "chomp chomp - YUUUUCK! Tastes like #@*! - good thing I didn't step in it!" "Yeah, good thing - let's go..."

                              2. I like to mix it with stuff that add to the sliminess like chopped okra and raw egg yolks.

                                if you dont like it, you should try the korean version. It's called chonggukjang and is basically natto soup. I know it sounds gross but it's smashed up and fried with sour kimchi with some water or dashi added and holy crap does it taste good with a bowl of hot rice on a cold day.

                                stinkier foods tend to taste the best for some reason.