This is an anago (conger eel) bozushi – hand shaped sushi – prepared by Chef Sono at Kyoya. It is wrapped in a dried bamboo husk. Dried bamboo husk has been an important material used to wrap prepared food items. Dried bamboo husk has anti-bacterial property. At the same time it is porous and allows the air to enter. It keeps the food dry and prevents the growth of mold. A slight fragrance of dried bamboo husk also contributes to the quality of stored food. When I was small on our picnic my mother always packed our onigiri rice balls in bamboo husks. Yes, it is very sustainable.
Bamboo shoot grows in amazing speed. After sending forth its shoots in early spring it can grow up to a foot in a single night. During early summer of raining season the speed of growth even accelerates. As the tree grows it sheds its husk one after another. Farmers, who collect the husks, carefully dry them first in the sun; soak them in water to soften the husks and stretches; dry them again and thoroughly wipe to remove any alien object.