Edamame, or immature green soybeans, are the quintessential snack to have with an ice-cold beer, especially in summer.

Their popularity has spread around the world in recent years, but the habit of eating fresh, salted green soybeans out of their pods has a history in Japan that dates back over 1,000 years.

Soybeans have been an important food source in East Asia since prehistoric times, and were introduced to Japan very early on too, probably in the Yayoi Period (200 B.C.-250 A.D.).