International Sushi Day 2024: The Origins Of A Modern Delicacy
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Rolling rice and contents between a sheet of dry seaweed is the traditional method of preparing sushi, which is considered Japan's most renowned culinary export. But in reality, the word "sushi" refers to a broad category of subtypes that may be prepared in a variety of ways and with a vast array of variations in terms of form and presentation.

When eating sushi, one can use their fingers or chopsticks. It is frequently served on a plate or in a bento box that has a section for dips, most often soy sauce. Many versions of sushi have emerged outside of Japan as a result of the dish's global appeal.

The History Of Sushi

The origins of sushi can be traced back thousands of years to the rice fields of Asia, namely China. This could come as a surprise because most people think that sushi originated in Japan. But that's not the case at all. Sushi is a Chinese cuisine called narezushi, while Japan is undoubtedly the home of sushi worldwide and is credited with popularising the meal among tourists. Salted fish and fermented rice made up this meal. Furthermore, it wasn't salted and fermented for flavour, unlike what you would believe. Refrigerators are approximately 2,000 years behind the dish, whose oldest documented origins date to the second century BC.

For this reason, narezushi was actually a highly useful food. The fish was highly salted to inhibit the formation of germs and microbes and prolong its freshness even when stored without refrigeration. The rice was fermented to preserve it. Interestingly, too, after consuming the fish, the rice was usually tossed out. Only the fish was wrapped and preserved with it. In the eighth century, the dish made its way from China to Japan. The Yoro Code, which was composed in the year 718, has the earliest mention of "sushi."

Slowly, throughout the next few centuries, the meal started to evolve. The Japanese started eating three meals a day, fermenting their rice faster by boiling it and adding rice vinegar. Although the Japanese sushi meal required less time to prepare because of a quicker fermentation process, the scent of the preserved fish was still very intense.

When sushi became popular in Edo in the middle of the 18th century, three well-known sushi eateries—Matsunozushi, Kenukizushi, and Yoheizushi—opened. In the latter part of the 18th century, many more of them arrived. According to a journalist from 1852, there were one or two sushi restaurants in Edo for every 100x100-metre square block, or "cho."

Sushi Today

Eaten throughout the world, sushi is one of the most popular dishes. Even the most conservative customers have probably tried a sushi roll at least once. Because chefs are always coming up with new ideas, there are always new rolls and meals to try.

With new sushi being made every day, the centuries-old Japanese staple has evolved into a modern classic. You can now enjoy hundreds of various types of sushi rolls. Cooks around the nation are always experimenting with new recipes, which range from sushi made with unconventional ingredients like raw and cooked beef to more contemporary creations like sushi bowls and sushi burritos.