Kurozukuri: Toyama’s Chinmi Black Squid Shiokara
Have you ever heard of the Japanese Chinmi (珍味: food delicacy), Shiokara (塩辛)?
As I wrote in this article, Shiokara is a traditional Japanese food made by salting and fermenting seafood such as fish, shellfish, or squid guts.
Shiokara comes in various varieties, and Squid Shiokara, or Ika no Shiokara (イカの塩辛), is the most common and widely enjoyed in Japan.
But some types are only available locally, which includes what I introduce here, Toyama’s specialty Kurozukuri (黒作り).
The Chinmi, Kuro-Zukuri (黒作り), is a variant of Ika no Shiokara blended with squid ink.
In its name, Kuro (黒) means black in Japanese, while Zukuri (作り) stands for making, and its black color comes from squid ink.
Incidentally, regular Ika no Shiokara has a reddish hue, sometimes called Aka-Zukuri (赤作り), as Aka (赤) means red in Japanese.
The origin of Kuro-Zukuri dates back to the Edo period, about 300 years ago, and now, the black Ika no Shiokara is one of Japan’s 3 Best Food Delicacies (新三大珍味).
As for the taste, featuring a deep flavor from squid ink, Kurozukuri goes well with pasta and can make the perfect pair with alcoholic beverages like sake.
The Chinmi is packed with distinctive umami and is tasty, so if you plan to visit Toyama, I want you to try the black Ika no Shiokara at least once during your stay.
(Reference Page: Wikipedia 黒作り )