Difference between tamari and soy sauce
Tamari vs soy sauce:
Asian cuisine has always been a fragrant and a colorful one, what with all its spices, herbs and sauces involved. Among the many sauces that Asians utilize in their cooking, tamari and soy sauce are two of the most popular ones of which the differences have been pondered over and over again. While tamari and soy sauce are most definitely interrelated, there do exist certain differences which make the two sauces very much different from one another.
What is tamari?
Tamari, which literally means liquid pressed from soybeans, is a sauce that is naturally brewed made primarily with soybeans. For centuries, tamari has been a rare delicacy that was only served on special occasions. It was originally a thick brown liquid that pooled in casks of fermenting soybean miso until the producers learnt to brew tamari as a liquid soy sauce. Tamari contains soy beans, sea salt, water, and koji which is also known as Aspergillus hacho. Tamari implants its flavor in food and therefore, it is commonly used in food processing purposes. Because of its strong flavor, tamari is often used for seasoning food that cook for a long time such as soups, stews and baked dishes as well as marinating and salad dressing purposes.
What is soy sauce?
Often what we refer to as soy sauce is the commercial product that is brewed by fermenting soybeans with Aspergillus oryzae or Aspergillus sojae molded together with salt, wheat and water. The commercial soy sauce that is sometimes named as shoyu or tamari is sometimes made from soy beans which have been defatted with hexane, a petroleum derivative. However, this mixture is fermented, after which, a paste is acquired from which a liquid and a cake is derived after pressing. The liquid is used as soy sauce while the cake made up of soy bean and wheat residue is used as animal feed. Soy sauce has a sharp taste and is often used as a condiment or a dipping sauce. Soy sauce is also used in stir fries because of its capacity of harmonizing with food while enhancing their flavor quite effectively.
What is the difference between soy sauce and tamari?
Soy sauce was produced in china about 2800 years ago and it continues to be rather popular, even to this very day. Soy sauce is a traditional ingredient in East and Southeast Asian cuisines and as a result of its popularity, several types of soy sauces exist, of which tamari and shoyu are two.
The kind of soy sauce that is available in the market today cannot be called as the true brewed soy sauce as it is a commercialized version of the original product that we get to taste today. However, it was during the 1960’s that George Ohsawa introduced a soy sauce that he called as tamari to North America and Europe which was actually shoyu. Because of this misinformation regarding the sauces, a huge confusion occurred with regards to distinguishing shoyu from the real tamari in the western world.
The main difference between tamari and soy sauce is the fact that while tamari is brewed purely form soya beans, soya sauce is brewed from a mixture of soya bean and wheat. Because of this, tamari is ideal for wheat intolerant individuals who succumb to various wheat related allergies. Tamari is also known to be 37% richer in protein than regular soy sauce. Another factor that sets the two apart is that soy sauce is essentially a product of china while tamari originates from Japan. Tamari, in fact was once considered as a rare delicacy whereas there existed no such distinction for soy sauce in the world.
Tamari is known to have a soft, smooth and a rich taste that is known to overpower the flavors of other food. However, soy sauce, being an alcoholic fermentation, has a sharper taste which does not overpower the flavors of other ingredients. Another factor that is unique to both these sauces is that while the taste of tamari does not change or alter during cooking, soy sauce tends to loose most of its flavor when exposed to high temperatures. Because of this, tamari is often used for dishes that cook for a long period of time such as soups, steaks and etc whereas soy sauce is ideal for stir fries, casseroles and sauces that do not require much heating.