One also notices many persimmon trees when travelling in Nara. Every farmhouse has a persimmon tree with large red fruit on it. This is one of the features of autumn Nara scenery - a scene as old as Japanese culture. Kakinoha-zushi is made using persimmon leaves, and is a delicacy of the Yoshino region. In mid Edo period, mackerel taken at Kumano Sea was salted and carted across Nara. It was just ready to eat when it arrived in the Yoshino region. Villagers made sushi with this mackerel, and used persimmon leaves for its preservation. The leaves of astringent persimmons contain tannic acid, which congeals protein. This not only makes the mackerel tasty, but acts as preservative. It is a much-loved delicacy in Nara, where there is no open water close by. Kakinoha-zushi is enjoyed today during the summer festive days. The elegance of the old days and flavor is still enjoyed in this sushi with the aroma of persimmon, kakinoha-zushi.
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