Let me explain about ourselves. My name is Takehito MAEDA and my wife is Mie. We are from Japan and have been living in Nelson since 2007. I have been a traditional Japanese chef for 15 years in Japan and New Zealand. While busy working as chef, I also grew interested in fermentation. I started with home brew. When the beer was fermenting in a barrel, I could hear the noise of bubbling organisms working really hard, eating the sugar to turn it into alcohol for me. That was so exciting!! Then I tried a sourdough bread (which I still do). I have kept my sourdough starter for more that five years now. Somehow, I found a couple (Rachel & Gareth) who grow soy beans locally in Motueka. A wonderful idea flashed into my mind; Miso!! In the old days in Japan, every family made their own miso paste at home. I thought, “I can do this”. We make Urban Hippie products traditionally, using my 15 years of chef knowledge, skill, effort, and love. Urban Hippie Miso paste is the only one hand made in New Zealand with local and imported quality ingredients: soy beans from Motueka, natural sea salt from Blenheim, rice, and Koji (a type of culture for making Sake).
Unfortunately, we cannot find NZ grown rice, so it is imported from Australia (GMO free). Our miso is then fermented for more than 6 months and unpasteurized. The mass-produced miso pastes you see at supermarkets or Asian shops are not fermented for long, and are also pasteurized, so do not contain any beneficial micro organisms. Miso is one of Japan’s traditional fermented soy bean pastes and is essential to Japanese cuisine. You have probably tried miso soup ain one lf the many Japanese restaurants or sushi take away shops in New Zealand. Traditionally the Japanese begin their day with a bowl of homemade miso soup. Miso soup is a very unique cloudy broth which is normally served with Tofu, sea weed, and spring onion. But you don’t need to stick with these ingredients, you can add anything you like. For example potato, onion, cabbage, mushroom, radish, mizuna, spinach, kumara, egg, fish, pork…. never ending. We invite you to try our Miso in your own home. https://www.urbanhippie.co.nz