Saba-zushi (rod-shaped sushi topped with mackerel) (鯖寿司)
Saba-zushi is a type of Bo-zushi (rod-shaped sushi topped with large slice of fish) with mackerel, or means Saba-no-narezushi (sushi fermented with mackerel and vegetables). It is widely seen from Kinki Region to Chugoku Region (from the Sanin area to the mountain area). It is also famous as a local specialty of Wakasa Provincei (Fukui Prefecture) and the Sanin area.
There are several types of Saba-zushi such as Oshi-zushi (lightly pressed piece of sushi topped with cooked ingredients) including sushi-battera (mackerel sushi of Osaka) and Heshiko-zushi (rod-shaped sushi topped with Heshiko, a local dish of Wakasa, north of Kyoto, which is salted mackerel in rice-bran paste), and Yakisaba-zushi (rod-shaped sushi topped with roasted mackerel) which places a piece of roasted mackerel on vinegared rice. Also see the description of Saba-zushi in the article of Sushi.
Saba-zushi is one of the famous dishes of Kyo-ryori (local cuisine of Kyoto), and a special meal eaten at the festivals or seasonal events in the life of common people in Kyoto. This dietary habit has been inherited up to the present when people can obtain fresh fish easily. Saba-zushi is different from battera (mackerel sushi of Osaka), and is cooked by common families. The freshness of salted mackerel, boning, and the sweetness of the vinegar sauce are important, and the sushi is wrapped in a bamboo sheath with some moisture and stored at room temperature. These are the ideas in an era when people lived without refrigerators.