- Main lore areas
Hoku-shin and Nan-shin areas (throughout the prefecture)
- Main ingredients used
Squid, cucumber, wakame seaweed, vinegar
- History/origin/related events
Because Nagano Prefecture is far from the sea, marine products were processed in the area where they were landed and transported via the "salt road. There were several salt roads, including "Chikuni Kaido (from Itoigawa to Matsumoto and Shiojiri)," "Kitakuni Kaido (from Naoetsu to Oiwake (now Oiwake, Karuizawa-cho, Kitasaku-gun)," "Kitakuni Kaido (from Okazaki to Shiojiri)" and "Akiba Kaido (from Omaezaki to Shiojiri)," used to carry salt and marine products inland. Salted round squid, made by pickling boiled squid in salt, is a typical example of this food, which has been produced since the mid-Edo period. Originally, it was made as a byproduct of trading in salt itself, but since Nagano Prefecture has no ocean, marine products were very valuable and were prized as preserved food when refrigeration and freezing were not available. Saltmaru squid is commonly eaten as a "vinegared" dish with cucumber and wakame seaweed. Today, it is mainly eaten in the Hokushin and Nan-Shin regions.
- Opportunities and times of eating habits
Cucumbers are often eaten from spring to summer. Especially in summer when cucumbers are harvested, many households have salted round squid in the refrigerator, and vinegared dishes are still often made. Even if the salt is removed from the squid, it is still moderately salty, so it is a good source of salt and a good way to prevent heat stroke in the summer.
- How to eat
Saltmaru squid is very salty, so it takes time to remove the salt before cooking. In addition to the standard vinegared dish, it can also be boiled and mixed into salads and tempura.
- Efforts for Preservation and Succession
Although it is less common than before, it is still made in households in the Hokushin and Nan-Shin regions. It is always sold in supermarkets and grocery stores in Nagano Prefecture, and is also on school lunch menus, making it popular among the younger generation.