We all know that Japan is no stranger to ~strange~ things, like bizarre robot shows, public toilets with transparent walls, to building a 60-foot real life GUNDAM robot that can move and walk. (Japan FTW!) But here’s another addition to that long list of only-in-Japan things: a stinky sushi-flavored ice cream!
Yup. The funazushi ice cream flavor is based on the funazushi sushi, which is considered the “stinkiest sushi in the world.” But despite the repulsive smell, the tedious and lengthy process of making this sushi has made it a rare and luxurious dish.
A specialty in Japan’s Shiga prefecture, the funazushi sushi comes from a Japanese fish called nigorobuna. To make the sushi, the fish is heavily fermented. It is covered in salt and stored in a barrel to age for one year. After a year, it is taken out and mixed with rice, and then stored again for another two to three years. Hence the strong, stinky smell. And though this may sound disgusting, this is actually how sushi was first made centuries ago.
But a restaurant in Tokyo called Cocoshiga is taking funazushi sushi into the modern world by fusing it with a beloved desert—ice cream!
According to an article by SoraNews24, who sent a brave writer to try the stinky treat, the ice cream was served in a cup, topped with a fish-shaped wafer, and some fish flakes. The fish’s usual pungent smell was apparently subdued, overpowered by the sweet smell of the ice cream. And the taste? Oddly like mascarpone cheese, the writer reports! The writer, Oona McGee, narrates: “As it melted, we were surprised to find there was no funky fish flavour at all — in fact, it tasted more like mascarpone cheese. The piquant tang of a fermented something was definitely there, but it blended so well with the ice cream that it ended up tasting more like cheese than stinky fish.”
It seems that even though the ice cream is funazushi sushi flavored, perhaps Cocoshiga used only an appropriate amount that you can taste the sushi but not to make you completely forget that you are having a delicious, cold desert.
You can find Cocoshiga at Nihonbashi, Chuo City, Tokyo. Follow them on Instagram, here.
Will you try this sushi ice cream flavor?? Tell us in the comments!
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Get in touch with the author of this article! Follow Nicole on Instagram at @TheStillnessinMoving.