JAPAN PHOTOS by Philbert Ono

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Image search results - "heshiko"
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Tasted more local food here at Heshiko Kobo Hisami (へしこ工房 Hisami), a restaurant/shop in Kyotango.Map: https://goo.gl/maps/Jq7NoojH59s
http://www.hisami-kasade.com/page/shop.php#heshiko
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Inside Heshiko Kobo Hisami.
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A local fish delicacy called "heshiko." Heshiko is made in this coastal region of Kyoto and Fukui Prefectures. It uses mackerel (saba), sardines (iwashi), or Pacific saury (sanma) that are salted and then fermented in rice bran (nuka). For heshiko, mackerel is most popular and the process takes two years. It is a traditional way to preserve fish for later consumption without refrigeration. It was a common (and cheap) food for the masses, but now it's a delicacy.

This restaurant believes too much salt is not so healthy, so they take only two weeks to salt and ferment the fish. This method is called asazuke (浅漬け) which means "lightly pickled." We sampled the mackerel prepared this way (and grilled), but I thought it was very salty already and hardly any taste of fermentation.
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Heshiko for sale.
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