Narezushi featuring the smooth delicate taste of ayu (sweetfish) and the fresh river water where it came from
The food that features ayu (sweetfish) became the symbol of local specialties around the Nagara River in Gifu Prefecture. The female ayu used for narezushi (fish-mixed sushi) is pickled without removing the eggs and internal organs. The resulting narezushi will no longer have a bad fishy smell originating from the internal organs and produce a fresh umami-flavor that is slightly sour. This distinctive taste of ayu originates mainly from the fact that it is a vegetarian fish. It does not eat insects nor other small animals but fees on river seaweeds that are attached on rocks. The quality of river seaweeds varies according to the river condition, and it has been said that high-quality ayu can be obtained from freshwater reservoirs located deep in the forest. In other words, ayu tastes like the river itself. According to Zenshichi Izumi-san, the 5th generation owner of Izumiya, a long-established ayu food processing house, the narezushi made with ayu is indeed the “river’s terroir”.
どう作って食べるか / HOW TO MAKE & EAT
❶Pickle the raw, fresh ayu as it is in salt.
❷Wash the salted fish, mix it with rice, and age the mixture for several months.
In slices to pair with sake
As a seasoning agent or patty (pate) by making use of the rice that has dissolved due to the workings of enzymes
▶食べられている地域 / Regions where it is eaten
Nagara River basin around Gifu City
▶微生物の種類 / Types of microorganisms
Lactic acid bacteria and various other types of bacteria