Finally, the great taste of decaying fish and rice in a potato chip!

Narezushi is an ancient ancestor of modern day sushi, but the two differ very much in looks and taste, due to narezushi’s heavy use of fermentation.

On of the most famous narezushi is funazushi from Shiga prefecture, which is made by heavily salting and then further fermenting the fish in rice, sometimes for years, so that a unique flavor is created. With a history of well over 1,000 years, this form uses species of carp caught from Japan’s largest lake, Lake Biwa, to create the traditional delicacy.

▼ Here’s a video showing how funazushi can be made in large quantities

As you might imagine, this kind of fermented fish acquires quite an odor. Funazushi is said to be a little smellier than both natto (fermented soy beans) and dried kusaya (differently fermented fish). Only grilled kusaya is believed to be stinkier among Japanese foods.

Unfortunately, due to the traditional preparation techniques, funazushi is largely a regional taste of the rural Shiga Prefecture leaving many of us far removed from its pungent scent…until now!

The potato chip moguls at Calbee will be releasing funazushi flavored chips on 13 November for about 120 yen (US$1) a bag. This means that you can now enjoy the unique taste and smell of funazushi anywhere from a busy office to a crowded train.

However, these chips will only be sold in parts of the Kansai area including Osaka, Kyoto, Shiga, and three other prefectures. Perhaps this limited supply is because the chips are seasoned with actual carp caught from Lake Biwa and ground down into a powder.

The rest of the process for preparing these special chips was daunting and according to Calbee took 60 more trial and error attempts than it normally takes with more conventional potato chip special flavors. In the end, the company seems to feel they hit the mark.

This means we can finally imagine we’re a ronin on a journey of revenge through the lost wilderness of Japan with our trusty narezushi to keep our bellies full, all while actually comfortably strolling through the park munching on some chips. Or, if you simply like testing your intestinal fortitude with some offbeat flavors and smells, this is a great practice chip to work your way up to the smelliest food in the world: surströmming.

Source: Sankei News West
Top image: Wikipedia/Kida Yasuo