My mother tried to give us variation in our diet. She really tried. It wasn’t her fault. Eventually she gave up. A key turning point came when I asked my next oldest brother what he was putting on his food. His response, usually something scatalogical, was a simple, “bug juice.”
I didn’t know many Asians growing up. I didn’t know the culture, except through the Weekly Reader, which told me that in China, people kept grasshoppers as pets. After reading that article, one of the kids in my class leaned over and said, “I heard some of them eat dogs.”
I didn’t believe the dog thing for a second. However, bugs and juice? Hell yes. It was no leap for my 6 year old head that Kikkoman would have entire processing plants full of live bugs, which would be fed into a gigantic juicer. Made perfect sense. The juice then, naturally, would be bottled and packaged for shipping to unsuspecting Caucasians.
I refused to have anything to do with Soy Sauce for 8 more years.