Foodstuff: Soy Sauce – Lauriat™ Brand
Aside from a few North American varieties, most of the soy sauce used in my kitchen is either Chinese or Japanese. I have tried a couple of Indonesian brands but, to my recollection, this is the first Filipino product I have ever come across …
It may not be easy to see in this picture, but one of the first things I noticed even before opening the bottle, is that the sauce has stained the inside of the glass. The ingredients on the label indicate that caramel is used and, while this is a fairly innocuous colorant, I prefer that the color be natural.
The rest of the ingredients, other than a preservative, consist of salt, soybean and wheat. This certainly suggests a naturally brewed product (and no hydrolyzed protein is mentioned) but it is also notable that no fermentation agent is specified.
The sauce is very dark with a slight reddish tint and not especially thick. The aroma is complex, as a brewed type should be, but this one has some interesting woody, bamboo notes and there is also a faint umami tang a bit like a fish sauce lurking in the background. On tasting, the fish sauce quality is much less pronounced but still present, and the salt level is very high with just a little sweetness to balance it out. The only jarring quality is a slight metallic aftertaste but this is not strong enough to seriously detract from the other decent qualities and, overall the effect is quite nice.
I wouldn’t put this brand in my top five favorites by any means but it is worth trying out and is probably something you may wish to have on hand if cooking Filipino dishes and are striving for ‘authenticity’.