Kakinoha-zushi (persimmon leaf sushi) (柿の葉寿司)
Kakinoha-zushi is a local dish of Nara Prefecture, Wakayama Prefecture, and Ishikawa Prefecture. How it is made and its shapes differ among Nara Prefecture, Wakayama Prefecture, and Ishikawa Prefecture.
Nara Prefecture and Wakayama Prefecture
Sliced mackerel or salmon is added to bite-sized vinegar rice, and it is wrapped with persimmon leaves and pressed. Persimmon leaves are peeled off when eating. Normally, persimmon leaves are not eaten. In some places, (it is said that) the vinegar rice is wrapped with konbu (a kind of kelp used for Japanese soup stock) before wrapped with persimmon leaves.
Persimmon leaves are said to have antibacterial effects, and by wrapping with them, sushi can be (depending on seasons) preserved for about a few days. Persimmon leaves are pickled in salt to soften the leaves or to heighten its antibacterial effects.
Further, it is designated as the outstanding souvenir recommended by Wakayama Prefecture.
It is sold in the major stations of JR lines and the Kintetsu line in Nara Prefecture and Wakayama Prefecture (in the case of the Kintetsu line, it is sold mainly stations at which the limited express stop). It had been sold in the limited express of the Kintetsu line.
On an unfolded persimmon leaf is put on neta (sliced fish for sushi) including mackerel, salmon, yellowtail and bream; the next, vinegar rice is put on neta; then sakura-ebi (small pink shrimp) and seaweed are sprinkled over the rice, and it is put in a container; after the container filled with them, some weight is put on them and they are preserved for a day to a couple of days; after that they can be eaten. Normally, persimmon leaves are not eaten.
They are made at homes in the times of festivals during summer and autumn.