Have you ever had real shoyu? Real shoyu from Japan? Probably not.
Soy sauce in North America isnt the "real thing". Although, It is marketed to us like its the "real thing". Soy sauce that we consume in our part of the world is very industrial. Big factory soy sauce is made from defatted soy protein which is also commonly used as animal feed. A process that uses this industrial waste after the soybean oil is extracted. This soybean meal is then boiled in hydrochloric acid to extract the protein. It is then neutralized with caramel colouring and flavour added. This "Soy sauce" is made in terms of hours and days. Real shoyu takes months and even years to be made naturally. Allowing time to let the microbes do the work breaking the proteins down into tasty umami acids.
Kanada Shoyu is built from a journey. Back in 2012 we had a family member undergoing chemotherapy. A common side effect of chemotherapy is the loss of taste. However the one flavour that our patient could taste was soy sauce. This got us looking for a better soy sauce. However, we were limited to the same few industrial brands that dominate the worlds soy sauce market. We thought that Canada grows ALOT of soy beans, there must be a Canadian shoyu? The answer was no. This started our curious journey of brewing soy sauce. Through years as a tasty hobby brewing up our own Shoyu and expanding into other Koji tasty fermented foods. We were hooked on the process where the constant nagging daydream of starting a Shoyu brewery has manifested.
With our personal experience and a couple of exploratory koji fermentation trips to Japan. In early 2019 we took the leap, singed a lease, renovated our production space and pressed forward to achieve this dream of Canadian made shoyu. We use organic Quebec soybeans, organic BC roasted and cracked soft wheat berries, Vancouver island sea salt and Fraser Valley spring water. These Canadian ingredients are then carefully brewed and fermented in Okanagan red wine barrels for 12 months.
Our experience in tasting many high quality shoyu' in Japan led us towards the lighter side shoyu. Our unique recipe of 50/50 soybeans to roasted wheat results in a shoyu is lighter in colour and remarkable in umami and delicious flavour. A complimentary shoyu that can add a wow to just about any recipe. Kanada Shoyu is like no other soy sauce you have ever tasted. We are very proud of our finished product and urge you to make an order to experience real soy sauce.
The Soybeans are soaked and then pressure cooked. The soft wheat berries are roasted and cracked in a brewers mill.
The soybeans are cooled, mixed with the cracked wheat and inoculated with a type of mold called Koji. We use a strain of Koji called Aspergillus Sojae that is specific to shoyu production.
The shoyu koji is carefully incubated for 70 hours. The finished koji is then added to the barrels which has been prepared with a salt brine. This stage is now called Moromi.
Our shoyu is then carefully crafted and brewed for 12 months. Stirring frequently at the start and less frequently as the ferment progresses. The fermenting moromi is a living being and needs attention to ensure that the ferment stays active breaking down the proteins into tasty umami acids and deliciuos flavour.
Once the moromi reaches its first birthday it is ready to be pressed. The Moromi is ladled into repeating layers of pressing cloths. Pressure is then added with the resulting shoyu being extracted from the solids. The shoyu is then pasteurized, filtered, racked off and ready to bottle.
Every bottle of Kanada Shoyu is bottled and labeled by hand. We don't have a big and fancy factory. We are a small family business with a focus on our handmade production methods. Keep it simple and keep it local.
What makes your Kanada Shoyu so special?
Well for one, its real. Most people have never had real shoyu. We feel that our shoyu is an experience. A product developed with purpose and passion. Our shoyu is a whole bean naturally fermented shoyu that is a culminated from a decade of experience and patience.
Its kind of expensive?
Yes. Kanada Shoyu is not your cooking soy sauce. I urge you to continue using your favourite soy sauce that you traditionally cook with to make teriyaki sauce. This Shoyu is special. Naturally made shoyu is made to finish your dish, To add that extra wow and make your mouth water. Use it in savoury dishes or even add some to your apple pie recipe. It makes vegetables taste better! Trust us. You will be impressed! Feedback so far repeatedly end in "this is the best soy sauce I have ever tasted". We are not saying it is the best. We are saying it is real, unique and the first of its kind in Canada. A unique local product with a unique local flavour and terroir. Our goal is to make our business last into further generations
How long does the Shoyu last?
Shoyu is very stable food. Having whats called a low water activity level and a low PH makes for a long lasting stable product. Our advice is to keep your shoyu in a cool dark place and consume within a year. Probably best kept in the fridge if you are concerned? But we don't make it a recommendation. This isn't a collectors item. Use it and enjoy it! Thats why we made it.
Is your Shoyu Gluten free?
No. This isn't your low sodium gluten free soy sauce. This is real soy sauce using roasted wheat in the recipe. Although research has shown that fermented gluten is very different in the way that the body process' I will leave that decision up to you.
Can I buy the shoyu in any retail stores?
No. We are a direct to consumer product. The retail food business is vicious! Cut throat margin focus is how big food works. Big box retailers do not care about our company and that not how we choose to do business. We care about our products and our customers. If we choose to go into retail with our products we don't have much of a business after 75% + plus margin is eroded. Though all of the various price manipulation and extortion techniques that retailers, distributors, brokers, wholesalers and all of the hands that you need to feed to fit into the big food system. We are focused on providing quality products with quality service to the end consumer in our local community. Direct sales though our webstore. Know your customer and know your producer. In a time where we need to distance ourselves from our neighbours there is no better or safer way to get your food than from the producer themselves. One person has touched our product and not a long supply chain with eventually a bunch of store staff and customers thumbing through products on the store shelves. Maybe one day? For now, we are keeping it small.
If you want to support our unique local business we would appreciate it.