Nara is known for its famous sake making. Sake-kasu (refuse from the sake brewing process) is a tasty one. Vegetables pickled in the Sake-kasu as early as the Nara period were known as shiru-kasu-zuke. There is a historical story that this shiru-kasu-zuke was greatly supported by Tokugawa Ieyasu (a shogun) and his warriors during the Osaka Natsu-no-jin (Osaka Summer War of 1615). Ever since, this shiru-kasu-zuke of Nara has spread across the country, and during the course of time, has become known as Nara-zuke. Hundreds of years ago, white melon was used for Nara-zuke, but during the Edo Period (1603-1867), eggplants, small oriental picking melon, and cucumbers were pickled for Nara-zuke. After being pickled for three years, the Nara-zuke turns into amber color, with the aroma of sake, stimulating one's appetite. However, the people of Nara also enjoy the one-year kasuzuke, which is ready during the summer months. It is oriental picking melon haya-zuke (fast pickled), special to this area.
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