Classification of Miso
When Miso culture spread among commoners, they began to make their own miso based on their own favorite manners (Please refer to Miso page).
As a result, various types of miso appeared and gradually established their own styles in each region.
In this article, I’d like to introduce 4 methods to classify the Miso.
That is to say, classification based on 1.Koji, 2. color, 3. taste, 4. regions.
Let’s learn about the basic classification of miso and understand the difference among them to taste them fully.
1. based on Koji
As I mentioned in the production method page, Koji is indispensable to make Miso.
So firstly I’d like to introduce the classification depending on the type of Koji. Based on this method, we divide Miso into 3 types:
1) komé (rice) Miso,
2) mugi (wheat) Miso,
3) mamé (soy) Miso.
If I explain them more clearly,
1)komé Miso uses rice Koji,
2) mugi Miso uses wheat Koji
3) mamé Miso uses soy Koji.
That is to say, the main ingredient is always soy.
Among them, the most popular is 1) komé (rice) Miso which is made all over Japan.
On the other hand, 2) mugi (wheat) Miso, 3) mamé (soy) Miso are made in relatively limited regions.
For example, the main producing region of 2) mugi (wheat) Miso is in the western part of Japan such as Kyushu district.
That of 3) mamé (soy) Miso is far more limited; mainly Tokai district. Incidentally, Nagoya is the center of the Tokai district. The most well known mamé (soy) Miso is called Hatcho-Miso.
2. based on color
Probably this is the most distinguishable classification.
We divide Miso into two by color:
1) red (aka) Miso
2) white (shiro) Miso
Red (aka) Miso
White (shiro) Miso
3. based on taste
The quantity of salt is an important element to decide the taste.
But here we cannot ignore the proportion of Koji. If the quantity of the salt is the same, Miso with more Koji becomes sweeter.
4. based on region
As I mentioned repeatedly, different types of Miso are made in different regions. As a result, Miso consists of a great part of food culture in each region.
In this classification, we call each Miso with the name of the region on the top.
– Shinshu-Miso (developed by Takeda Shingen),
– Sendai-Miso (developed by Date Masamune),
– Hatcho-Miso (developed by Tokugawa Ieyasu),
– Echigo-Miso (produced in Niigata prefecture)