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Soy sauce Story

History of Soy Sauce

Korean represented traditional food, Soy sauce.
Have you ever wander about the history of soy sauce?
Introducing every single fact of Korean soy sauce which will enrich worlds dinner tables.

  • History of Soy Sauce
  • History of SEMPIO Brand
  • Beans & Korean Food

Korean Flavors and the History of Soy Sauce

What do wine, beer, bread, cheese and yogurt all have in common? Found all over the world as some of mankind's favorites, they parallel history as fermented foods. Korea in particular has highly developed fermented foods, reflecting their long history on the peninsula. Timeless traditional favorite fermented foods include soy sauce, fermented bean paste, and red pepper paste, all of which are made from beans mixed with other ingredients. Even a growing international favorite, kimchi, is fermented as are pickled shrimp and other pickled seafood. The human tongue detects four major flavors - sweet, sour, bitter and salty - but fermented foods often include all four flavors mixed into one. Food professionals even refer to fermented foods as humanity's fifth flavor since they provide a totally new dimension in flavor and fragrance.

Of all of Korea's fermented foods, soy sauce, bean paste and other pastes are referred to as "the taste of mother's hands" and "the taste of hometown," reflecting the long and close affinity that Koreans have for them. Although we have no way of knowing exactly when Koreans began consuming them, there is at least one Chinese record referring to the people of the northern Korean Kingdom of Goguryeo (37 BCE - 668 CE) as having started to make soy sauce in the third century CE. It was called "si" when taken to China, and it made its way to Japan during the Unified Silla Kingdom (668-938 CE). Of existing Korean documents, Tales of the Three Kingdoms, a Korean history classic records that soy sauce was among wedding gifts presented to the Unified Silla royal family.

Home produced soy sauce began to become commercialized in the early 19th century with the introduction of Western modernity, and Western machinery made commercial production and distribution possible. In 1946 during the early days of commercial soy sauce, Sempio arrived on stage with introduction of its brand Sempio (Spring Brand, spring as in natural water springs) which is now Koreas oldest commercial brand of soy sauce.

Sempio Introduces the Flavors of Korea to the World

For nearly 60 years, Sempio has been a specialty developed and manufacturer of such traditional Korean foods as soy sauce, bean paste, red pepper paste, and other favorites. That fact that one out of two Korean housewives uses Sempio products reflects the trust and attachment that Koreans have to it as a favorite household brand.

Koreans have an inherent flare for fast, convenient foods, so naturally fast foods and instant foods have, following modern trends, become the latest change to the Korean diet. However, beans for soy sauce - a representative Korean slow food -- take a long time to ferment. Sempio has continued on with this tradition of traditional slow foods and takes pride and a sense of mission in introducing Korean flavors and culture to the world. The dedicated employees at Sempio are thus serving as a food bridge between the traditional and the modern.

In broadening its role in Korea flavors and food culture, Sempio has many research and development efforts that include a new environmentally friendly soy sauce made with organic ingredients and pure charcoal; reproduction of the traditional Korean Joseon soy sauce; research and development in customized soy sauce to meet consumer needs for specific flavors; and modern design of traditional containers.

Rediscovering Beans, Rediscovering Korean Food

Theres nothing really new about describing beans as the perfect nutritional food. Following growing worldwide trends towards vegetarianism, the value of beans is being reconfirmed A recent Korean survey of centenarian diets revealed that virtually all enjoyed diets with generous amounts of beans and bean-related foods. Beans contain large amounts of lecithin which helps to improve memory, study capabilities, and concentration, and it also plays a role in preventing cirrhosis of the liver. Fiber derived from beans promotes improved bowel movements, serve as an anti-carcinogen and lower liver cholesterol. People who consume bean paste soup on a daily basis have a markedly lower incidence of stomach cancer.

The increasing recognition of beans around the world is related to cultural changes in food consumption that now demand both health and safety. People are more concerned than ever about the toxicity and safety of what they consume.

Korea can even be said to be the center of bean culture and nutrition, with its wide variety of well developed, healthy fermented foods. Soy Sauce and soybean paste have been widely recognized for their high nutritional value, and they are representative of Korean fermented foods. Recently with rapidly increasing interest in beans, and other vegetarian and substitute foods, and industrialized societies are becoming increasingly aware that you are what you eat and that man is intricately entwined with nature as part of nature. Thus we are now approaching a post modern and post industrial period of alternative culture.

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