A native of Nagoya, Japan, Joe Kato is a modern-day miso master, adapting ancient Asian techniques to perfect an Appalachian-based product.
American Miso ages its product in hand-crafted redwood or cedar barrels.
The Bellemes doing some of the earliest work at the Rutherfordton miso operation
Expert barrel maker Arai-san in a photo that would provide the inspiration for the Miso Master logo
Onozaki’s eldest daughter, Kaoru, making the product in Japan
Jan Belleme cleaning a miso barrel
The factory offers a feast for all the senses, from the metallic bang of large cook pots to the steamy humidity of fresh-cooked grains and beans to tangy wafts of miso.
American Miso Company currently produces six Miso Master varieties, all of which feature the simple ingredients of grains, beans, and salt.