Originated in the Chubu region of Japan, tamari is often considered the original Japanese soy sauce as its recipe is most similar to that of traditional Chinese soy sauce. Its beginnings can be traced back to the 16th century, as a liquid by-product during the fermentation of miso. At the time, it was completely free of wheat. Today, some if not most tamari contains traces of wheat, but it is still the preferred choice of shoyu for the health-conscious because of its low to zero wheat content (if you are allergic to wheat, always check the ingredients list as not all tamari is gluten-free).

image 5536947 | hori • www.pixtastock.com

Tamari has a high viscosity (thick, sticky consistency) and is even darker in colour than koikuchi. Its high soybean content gives it its incredibly complex, well-rounded flavour, minus the sometimes overwhelming bite that accompanies other types of shoyu. At the same time, it is less salty, which also lends to tamarifs status as a natural flavour enhancer. The versatility of tamari makes it an ideal dipping sauce for sashimi, as well as the finishing touch to add colour and shine to food like teriyaki dishes.