Tamari was first produced as a by-product of the soybean miso. People who were making soybean miso discovered the value of the raw liquid drawn off from the cedar kegs during the fermentation process. Since then, Tamari itself has become a popular soy sauce product. The actual translation of tamari is "puddle," so called by the way it would pool on top of the miso. Since genuine Tamari is a non-wheat product, it has a distinctive aroma as well as thicker texture, deeper color, and stronger taste. It is often used for dipping raw fish (sashimi), sautéing teriyaki, and other food processing
The more subtle Shiro (or white) soy sauce involves more wheat and has a lighter color and sweeter flavor. The wheat is roasted in hot sand until it turns fox brown in color and yields a fragrant aroma. Then it is coarsely milled to resemble cracked wheat and a small amount of steamed soybeans are mixed with the fragrant, roasted wheat. The soybeans and wheat are mixed together and inoculated with koji seed. Because of this mildness, white soy sauce is a favorite of chefs & mixologists looking to add the flavor of soy without overpowering the flavors and colors of other ingredients.