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Katsuobushi is a uniquely Japanese fish product made from the bonito (Sarda orientalis), a fish of the mackerel family that is abundant in warm waters. After the head, entrails and abdominal flesh have been removed, the bonito is cut into three large fillets and boiled. Then the fillets are steamed over a fire of hard wood such as Japanese oak (Quercus serrata), dried thoroughly in the sun and encased in a sealed box for one or two weeks. The entire surface becomes covered in mould, which is destroyed by drying the fillets once again in the sun. The sealing and drying process is repeated a further four or five times.
Thin flakes shaved from a hard block of katsuobushi are used in various ways in Japanese cuisine, principally as a flavouring for the basic Japanese soup stock (dashi). The unique taste and aroma of katsuobushi is due to the presence of histidine salt of inosinic acid. The sample in the capsule has been disinfected by irradiation with Co60
The contents of this site are excerpted from THE OFFICIAL RECORD OF TIME CAPSULE EXPO'70(March 1975). Please note that company and organization names may differ from those of the current ones.
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