i've heard about this forever, but never actually eaten it. i'd actually never even seen it until today. it was not at all what i expected. nothing set off my danger signals that this was something to be feared. it looked like a little package filled with nuts, honestly. and the sensei who was sitting next to me and trying to speak a little english with me, asked "natto ok?" and at first i thought he was trying to ask if i could eat nuts.
i'd been warned about the smell. kelly said it really smelled like ass. i dunno, it didn't smell that bad to me. and i'd been warned about the taste, but really, it just seemed kind of bland. the only thing i hadn't been warned about was the one thing that made it ridiculously difficult to eat, and what was the texture. not the actual pieces of natto, but the sticky spiderweb-like strings that it made. i couldn't get them off!! it stuck to my lips and the chopsticks and the bowl and all over! it was like trying to eat something made of glue and spit. and on top of being gross, it's kind of embarrassing, getting my lunch covered in natto stringiness.
but now, it can finally be said that i have eaten natto! and i might do it again...as long as i have plenty of napkins and no one is watching.