Legend has it that the food that made Japanese cuisine famous all over the world was born from an ancient way of preserving the fish that overflowed from the lakes during the rainy season. At the time, to conserve them, a technique imported from southern China was used, which consisted of evaporating the fish and filling it with rice, and then letting it ferment for several years covered with salt. At the time of consumption, conservation rice was thrown away. Today, an ancient variety of Sushi has survived this tradition: on the shores of Lake Biwa is still fishing the Carassius (it is the wild version of the famous red fish) and the Funazushi is produced.
Lake Biwa is the largest freshwater lake in Japan and is also one of the oldest lakes in the world. It is located south of the Shiga Prefecture to the north-east of Kyoto. In addition to being an extremely fishy lake, freshwater pearls are also grown. In these waters, the female from Carassius, known as “Funa” in the period from May to June, carries in her lap up to 200,000 round, intense yellow eggs. In preparing the Funazushi, the fish is eviscerated while the eggs are left in the belly. The fish is placed on the bottom of a barrel and covered with rice dipped in rice vinegar. It is left to ferment for 4 long years, meanwhile the rice is replaced annually. After this time the fish is left to dry a whole day in the sun. After it is covered with salt and left to rest for another 4 years.
Surely you are wondering what wine to combine with a dish so tasty, dry and pungent. The goal is to soften first and clean up after our palate. The perfect match is with our Zerdì, Benaco Bresciano Rosso IGT. Its passage in old wood gives the Rebo, a vine born from a cross between Marzemino and Merlot, a great roundness. In addition, its characteristic spiciness inherited from Marzemino and evolved into wood lead it to hold up without overpowering this pungent food.
And you ate Funazushi?
What did you match us?