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Local unique specialty product in Tokyo

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Contents


  1. What is Kusaya?
2. How is taste of Kusaya?

3. History of KUsaya

4. Where is Izu islands?

5. Summary

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What is Kusaya?

Kusaya is a Japanese style salted-dried fish and fermented fish. It is famous for its malodorousness, and is similar to the pungent fermented Swedish herring, Surströmming.

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How is taste of Kusaya?

Though the smell of kusaya is strong, its taste is quite mellow. Kusaya is often eaten with Japanese sake or shochu, particularly a local drink called Shima Jiman (literally island pride). The brine used to make kusaya, which includes many vitamins and organic acids such as acetic acid, propionic acid and amino acids, contributes much nutritional value to the resulting dried fish.

History of Kusaya

Kusaya originated in the Izu Islands, probably on Niijima, where, during the Edo period people used to earn a living through salt making. Villagers paid taxes to the government with the salt they made, and as taxes were high, salt for fish-curing was used frugally. The same salt was used many times for this purpose, resulting in a pungent dried fish, which was later called kusaya. The resulting, tea-colored, sticky, stinky brine was passed on from generation to generation as a family heirloom. Though kusaya is made on several of the Izu Islands today, it is said that kusaya from Niijima has the strongest odor.

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Where is The Izu islands?

The Izu Islands are a group of volcanic islands stretching south and east from the Izu Peninsula of Honshu. Administratively, they form two towns and six villages; all part of Tokyo Prefecture. The largest is Izu Oshima, usually called simply Oshima.

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Summary

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Kusaya is a Japanese style salted-dried fish and fermented fish.

Though the smell of kusaya is strong, its taste is quite mellow.

Kusaya originated in the Izu Islands, probably on Niijima, where, during the Edo period people used to earn a living through salt making.

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