Traditional wheat-free tamari is a rich, dark soy sauce made by naturally aging soybeans in brine for 18 months. Tamari is particularly favored by people who have allergies to wheat. However, its excellent cooking qualities make it a seasoning appreciated by both ethnic and natural foods cooks around the world.
Like shoyu and miso Tamari is a fermented soy food, and it shares many of miso's medicinal and nutritional properties while avoiding the problems associated with unfermented soy foods. (See Miso Health Benefits.)
Scientists have given particular attention to the high concentration of "brown pigment" in tamari because of its strong anti-oxidant and anti-cancer properties. Tamari is said to aid in the digestion of grains and vegetables while being rich in several minerals. Unlike shoyu, tamari does not contain wheat and is an excellent seasoning for those on a wheat free diet.
Because many of the health promoting qualities of fermented soy foods are due to the soybean content, tamari is often considered the most health promoting variety of soy sauce. Tamari is a flavorful substitute for salt in all types of cooking.