Moshio is the earliest known sea salt produced by the Japanese, dating back to nearly 2,500 years ago. Although Japan is surrounded by sea water, the country's humid, rainy climate has never been well suited for large-scale production of dry salt. It takes 10 tons of seaweed-infused water to make just 200kg of this ancient sea salt.
Shoji Koyachi founded the Suzutennen Shio salt company in 1998 after years of intense research. Before 1997, salt producers in Japan weren't allowed to produce pure sea salt because of a post war measurement which restricted the production to only industrialized chemical techniques. After the law was abolished, Suzutennen was among the first companies to reintroduce the fully traditional methods of salt harvesting.
The round, rich flavors of Tsushima No Moshio are due to the presence of ample trace minerals (calcium, potassium, magnesium, iron, iodine, etc.) But most striking by far is the extraordinary quality of umami, that comes from the unique techniques used in its production. (Umami is one of the five basic tastes increasingly recognized by American foodies. Umami means "savory" or "meaty," and results from glutamates especially common in protein-rich foods such as meats and cheeses.)
All of the salt is made by three women only: Ms. Junko Tsunetoshi, Ms. Tadako Shimo and Ms. Eiko Miyashita.