Food — By Crust on May 5, 2009


I had carefully chosen the miso that I wanted to use on the menu for The Diamond. I chose Shinmeido organic unpasteurized barley miso, aged for 2 years locally made on Denman Island. The flavor is the best.
I wrote them a letter to obtain a steady supply for the restaurant. They phoned me right away to tell me that they are happy that I like their product but that they are now in their 60’s and have retired from making miso as it is back breaking work. I was very sad.
I talked to David and Myra about it because David had Shinmeido miso on the menu at Gastropod for a while and they told me to talk to Masa the Artisan Sake Maker on Granville Island. Masa was also sad about the miso, he told me that the couple who make it couldn’t find a successor to learn their miso knowledge and take over the company.
Someone should go be an artisan miso maker. I think if the company kept going it would really blow up in the next few years. I’m even thinking about doing it, but I don’t know if I can dedicate my life to miso. Masa said the person would have to have great passion for their work to make good miso.
I just can’t believe such a beautiful locally made product such as this is going to be gone. Especially at a time when local products are just beginning to be seen for how valuable they are.


  1. David says:

    That is sad; the baby boomers really fucked up when it comes to food.

  2. Mum says:

    So sorry to hear that nobody is interested in learning and carrying on the tradition of making miso. It seems to be an amazing and adaptable product that should be of interest to health conscious people … I am glad you posted this story..maybe it will be noticed and someone will step up.

  3. ac says:

    It’s hard to really say one type of miso is better than another, miso is a deeply personal thing. There are as many misos as there are towns and cities in Japan and the locals will always say their variety is the best. With fermented products like miso and nuka pickles one person’s best may be another’s olfactory hell.

    In any event, if you can find some other local miso makers, I would not be surprised at all if there are more, what you are looking for is called mugi miso in japan…

    The processes for making soy sauce and miso are related as well, so you could also investigate local producers of tamari.

  4. Chungbot says:

    There are some really good miso’s coming out of small producers in the portland area. I’ll see if I can get their info for you.

  5. Crust says:

    Thanks for the good comments and suggestions everyone.

  6. Kyle Michael says:

    Get Tosh to do it!!!!!!!

  7. Stephan Drolet says:

    “Someone should go be an artisan miso maker. I think if the company kept going it would really blow up in the next few years”

    Oh come on!

    Economically speaking things aren`t getting any better. Who in the hell is going to pick up a business that, first of all, needs two years to mature, and then will likely take three times that to make a profit?

    Nice pipe dream but lets be realistic.


  8. ac says:

    Soybeans and mould aren’t exactly expensive.

  9. Eric says:

    Do you still have their contact information? I looked for it a bit but could not find any information, but I would love to contact them. Thanks!

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