Kusaya (くさや - smells bad), is a Japanese style salted-dried fish and fermented fish. It is famous for its malodorousness, and it is often a subject of taste controversies, much like Marmite and Blue cheese and more like Swedish Surströmming. Since kusaya produces a more acute smell when grilled, it can also be sold in packages.
Though the smell of kusaya is strong, its taste is quite mellow. It is quite suitable to eat kusaya with Japanese sake or Shōchū, particularly a local drink called Shima Jiman - island pride. The brine used to make kusaya, which includes many vitamins and organic acids such as acetic acid, propionic acid and amino acid, contributes much nutritional value to the resulting dried fish.
During the Edo period, characterized by a deficiency of salt, the population from Izu Islands used to conserve salt by keeping the caught fish in a salty soup (kusaya-eki). Afterward, the fish would be lined up to dry in the sun.
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Local Specialties Kusaya, www.tourism.metro.tokyo.jp
Kusaya (“Smells bad” fish), www.japanfortheuninvited.com