Everyone must have tried ‘sushi’ at least once in a lifetime, at some point in life, of course. Sushi is known as Japan’s most popular dish, where fish, seafood, or meat would top over fermented, vinegar-mixed rice. People would wait hours and hours to eat at a sushi restaurant or make reservations beforehand to even get a small spot or a seat. However, there is a special reason behind its fame, its popularity that has resulted in long queues and waiting lines; the reservations made in advanced must in particular, mean something.
Sushi is known as Japan’s most popular dish.
When people think of Japan, they think of sushi, most of the time. In reality, although sushi was made famous in Japan, the origin and history of sushi dates back to the Tang dynasty, in China. The word ‘sushi’ itself meant something ‘sour’ back in the old times, to describe a dish made up of vinegar-mixed, fermented rice with seafood or fish toppings. Most people believe sushi meant ‘raw fish’ or other raw seafood ingredients. The fact is, though, that the word ‘sushi’ actually refers to the sourness felt in the fermented rice. Sushi was first known as ‘Narezushi’ back in China, where salted fish was processed to prevent the growth of bacteria and to keep it edible for a longer period of time, and fermented rice was also processed to prolong its shelf-life without a need for modern-day innovations like refrigerators. Narezushi was also known to be eaten without rice, so only the salted fish would be the part that was eaten, while the rice would be thrown away, as its presence was only to keep the fish edible and fresh for longer.
Later, sushi came to Japan in the 8th century through travelers and merchants, carrying on the practical methods of keeping food fresh, edible, and still very much delicious after long periods of storage. As time went by, more sushi restaurants have opened in various corners of Japan, where its boom lasted up until today. Hanaya Yohei first came up with an idea to not throw away the rice, but add vinegar into the mix. He topped the cooked rice with a tiny piece of fish and knew it would soon be everyone’s favorite. He intentionally made bite-sized portions of sushi to enable the ease of consumption, as they are portable, affordable, delicious, and worth the exploration. These bite-sized, savory, and delicate pieces were then referred to ‘Nigiri’, a well-known, authentic, and highly traditional kind of sushi that combines the odor of raw fish and moistened rice mixed with rich vinegar. After the birth of Nigiri, sushi and its fame have spread throughout the globe, faster than forest fires burning the acres deep in the woods.
Why is sushi a famous Japanese dish that won the hearts of all nations combined?
Not only sushi is delicious and enjoyable for people of all ages, but sushi does provide consumers the opportunity to increase the amount of proteins needed on a daily basis, as its ubiquitous characteristic provides convenience to people who are in a ‘hurry’ to leave for work or for school. As sushi comes in bite-sized potions, people can enjoy sushi anywhere, anytime, without having to use utensils or make preparations. Nutrition-wise, sushi is definitely a healthier choice compared to fish and chips, which made it among the mediocre, healthy dishes that suit the lifestyles of the majority of people. Its wide variety of fish, seafood, and even meat toppings never bore consumers as they blend along with the special, dampened Japanese rice. Exotic to foreigners who have always tried local food, perhaps, fries and salads, trying out sushi is a unique experience and a discovery to turn the pages through authentic, Asian culinary.