Miso Paste is a paste made from fermented soy beans used to season soup, sauce and other dishes. It is quite salty but flavorful, and a staple seasoning in Japanese cooking.
White miso (left in the picture) has a sweeter and milder flavor, while red miso has a saltier and mature taste. White miso is preferred in the Kyoto region which is in western Japan, and red is more popular in central Japan.
The most popular and versatile type is, however, mixed miso (awase miso, right in the picture). It is something between white and red miso. Many Japanese restaurants in the US serve miso soup made with this kind of mixed miso.
Some US markets carry miso in the Asian food aisle, otherwise it can be found at Japanese markets or online stores. Or you can make it at home following our Miso recipe.