So This One Time in Wisconsin

Even reading the title that I myself wrote, I find myself saying ‘Wis-kaaaaahn-sin’ in my head

I really have the neatest job.

I get to explore my passion, I get to create recipes and partner with companies I admire and whose products I have in my fridge and pantry, and I get to meet people who share my passions and understand this crazy online thing that I do.

I get to go on trips with people who participate in silliness like this with me, and are often the instigators of said silliness/brilliance – oh yeah, I’m lookin’ at you, Whit!

do you see it?????

Last month I traveled to the itty bitty town of Walworth, Wisconsin to visit the Kikkoman factory that just celebrated its 40th anniversary there.

In two words, I was blown away.

Walworth, Wisconsin is a darling, picturesque, Mayberry-esque town with corn, wheat, and soybean stalks swaying in the wind and barns and silos dotting the bright blue horizon as far as the eye can see.

It’s one of those places that you’ve never heard of, but once you’ve visited – you want to go back.

Kikkoman brought the 4 of us who will be acting as Flavor Ambassadors for the next year down/up (depending upon our geography) to tour the plant NO PICTURES and to get to know each other and learn more about the company and people behind Kikkoman All Purpose Seasoning.

OH WHAT?  You didn’t realize it was all purpose seasoning?

Yeah, me either.

Go ahead and pull out that bottle of Kikkoman from your fridge and look at it.  It says it right there – All Purpose Seasoning.

**spoiler alert** I plan on testing this claim :-) :-)

We weren’t allowed to take pictures on the tour, but there is rumor of a picture of all of us in our “plant gear” prior to the tour….

ah.. the heck with rumors….

We toured the plant and the simplicity of the ingredients “Soybeans – Salt – Water – Wheat”  and the way the plant is run, the people running it, the simplicity of the process….

I wish I could have taken pictures of the cloth – the mash – the giant fiberglass containers in which the fermentation takes place…. I wish that y’all could all experience the aroma of the plant.  The air is heavy with a rich, savory smell that permeates the senses and draws you in.

We left the plant with the scent of Kikkoman magic lingering on our skin and none of us were all that eager to rid ourselves of it.

There’s beauty in simplicity, natural ingredients, time honored traditions and family – and that’s what I got from this visit.

Family.

Tradition.

Honor.

Simplicity.

Doing things right.

Both by the legacy, and the people carrying on the legacy.

Prior to heading out to the plant we watched Make Haste Slowly: The Kikkoman Creed

I’ve never asked y’all to stop and watch a video before, but I really – truly – deeply and sincerely hope that y’all will stop what you’re doing and take the time to watch this video.

The people you see, the ones whose lives were changed because Kikkoman chose a small town in Wisconsin to open its plant and immerse their people in that town… they are real people.  They aren’t actors.   They weren’t hired or given scripts.  They are your grandfather, your mother, your aunt, your neighbor.

We met one of the women from the video and I have to say that meeting her and listening to her, watching her eyes light with joy, her face flush with pleasure and passion and embarrassment – that will stay with me for the rest of my life.

I hope that y’all take a moment to watch Make Haste Slowly because if you do, it will leave you moved and changed and better for doing it.

 

Thank you, Kikkoman, for sponsoring this post and for choosing me as one of four flavor ambassadors for the year.

I urge y’all to go check out my fellow flavor ambassadors:  Whit, Tessa and Ericka

BTW – if you’re feeling frisky! ======.>>>>> check out Kikkoman’s Master Sauce Contest over on their Facebook page. You can submit your favorite soy sauce based recipes to 4 different categories: salad dressing, BBQ sauce, stir fry sauce, or marinade for a chance to win a cool $1000 bucks.

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Comments

  1. says

    I was following all of you on instagram and this trip looked so fun! I agree food bloggers are such a fun group to be a part of, I totally love my job. Congrats on your Ambassadorship! While you were there did they give you those yummy soy sauce truffles that they had at BHF?! Soooo soooo good.
    Des´s most recent brilliance ..Spicy Sesame Chicken Potstickers

  2. Karen says

    I watched this video and loved it. There are many life lessons in each article of their creed. It applies to families as well as to corporations. Thank you for sharing this.

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