- Main lore areas
All over the prefecture
- Main ingredients used
Crucian carp, rice, salt
- History/origin/related events
Nare-zushi is an ancient type of sushi, made by fermenting salted fish and rice in a marinade. It is called nare-zushi because the fish becomes "acclimated" or "ripe" as fermentation progresses. Nare-zushi is a method of processing fish for long-term preservation, and is an excellent preservation method because it allows easily perishable fish to be fermented and eaten throughout the year. In Shiga Prefecture, crucian carp, Japanese carp, lotus root, moroko, ayu, hai, loach, carp, loach, and other fish are made into nare-zushi. Funazushi is a typical example, and is often offered as a sacred dish at festivals held at shrines to pray for fertility. Funa-zushi is often made from nigorobuna (crucian carp) caught in Lake Biwa. The whole crucian carp is marinated, and the lactic acid produced during fermentation softens the bones, making it possible to eat all the way down to the bones. The increased lactic acid bacteria also have a beneficial effect on the intestinal tract and are highly nutritious. In Shiga Prefecture, there is a long-standing custom of eating funa-zushi instead of medicine when suffering from stomachaches or poor health. Nare-zushi, which has been popular since ancient times, was selected as one of Shiga Prefecture's Intangible Folk Cultural Assets in 1998.
- Opportunities and times of eating habits
Funa-zushi is eaten on festive occasions such as Hare-no-hi and at New Year's, when people gather to celebrate. In the past, it was made by every household, but in recent years, due to the deterioration of the spawning environment in Lake Biwa and feeding damage by non-native fish, the number of households making funa-zushi has been decreasing due to the decrease in the number of nigorobuna.
- How to eat
The young crucian carp caught in Lake Biwa are often used. The crucian carp are pickled in salt in early spring, and the salted crucian carp are raised in summer, rinsed, and dried, then rice is laid in a tub and the crucian carp are arranged on top of it so that they do not overlap. The lid is covered several times and weights are placed on top. This is called "hon-zuke. After the main pickling, the crucian carp is left to ferment and marinate for several months until the New Year's holiday.
- Efforts for Preservation and Succession
In the past, it was made as a preserved food in each household, but in recent years, the number of households making funa-zushi has been decreasing, partly due to the decrease in the number of nigorobuna (crucian carp). However, "funa-zushi," a specialty of Shiga Prefecture, is still popular and served at restaurants. Many other households making "funa-zushi" at home purchase fish that has already been pickled in salt and only do the main marinating. In recent years, in addition to the traditional method of sealing the fish in water to ferment, a simpler method of sealing the fish in plastic pickle bags has been developed, attracting a new group of homemade fans. In addition, sweets using "funa-zushi" rice have also been developed and are gaining popularity.