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From: Mr. Bobo ( -
Subject: Ingredient question of my own
Date: May 29, 2006 at 8:21 am PST

In Reply to: Was: Being selfish to have a clear face: Obagi posted by Mr. Bobo on May 29, 2006 at 8:03 am:

A while back, I saw something on a website (unrelated to vegetarianism) to the effect that in a minority of cases, the starter for soy sauce contains a pig derived byproduct, and that this is within the scope of what would be considered traditional fermentation methods. For some reason, this is something that is not extracted from cattle, and the issue was raised in the context of being something ruled out during kosher certification. I didn't sweat it at the time, given that I went months without seeing any non-kosher certified soy sauce or seitan. (At least that's what I assume. Every major brand of soy sauce is either kosher certified or is actually a fake soy sauce with alcohol, caramel color, soy oil, and salt, but no actual fermented soy. There are vegan Chinese restaurants near where I live, in the Washington area, but the soy sauce they put on the tables is kosher certified, and given that I don't remember ever seeing a bottle of non-kosher certified real soy sauce in a store, I didn't sweat it.) More recently, I discovered a non-kosher certified bottle of a sauce that listed "soy sauce" as an ingredient, and the issue again came to my attention. Every mention of soy sauce I could find on kashrut related websites (Orthodox Union, OK, etc.) was in the context of providing a definition of soy sauce or some other food or was in a recipe. Does anyone know more about starters for soy sauce? If so, should I assume this would be the case with Tamari, as opposed to one of the more exotic forms?

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