The 2016 batch of homemade shiokara. Shiokara is a ritual I do every year. This is genuine charcuterie, with the squid preserved with salt and the innards fermented using bacteria. Whilst shiokara is ambrosia to some it is death to others who visit these shores; I belong to the former group. This batch earned me a number of drinks at my local izakaya, from other enthusiasts. The sad reality is, most of the shiokara you buy in the shops or are served in bars are the fake, non-fermented variety, with lots of citric acid to preserve it and give it tang, and plenty of sugar and food colouring to make it resemble the real thing. Real shiokara uses nothing but squid and salt in its making, and maybe a slug of sake to thin out the fermented livers at the end. Some people may add chopped yuzu or katsuobushi according to their wont – I do not.