In recent years, a new trend has hit the taste buds of thousands of teenagers and adults; we are talking about Sushi: a typical dish of Japanese cuisine that bases its energies by combining a base of rice with other ingredients such as fish, algae, vegetables or eggs. Its filling, refined and delicious, is purely raw and can be served resting on rice, rolled in a strip of seaweed, placed in rolls of rice or inserted in a small pocket of tofu. Sushi has succeeded in attracting the interest of a variety of people and within ten years it has established itself on the Italian market thanks to its strong but pleasant taste. Do you know the proper way to eat sushi? You don’t use cutlery like we do in Italy, but chopsticks. In addition, it can be accompanied by several sauces, such as soy sauce, teriyaki sauce, ponzu sauce, wasabi, tsuyu sauce and karashi sauce. Did you know that there are 7 variants? Let’s find out what they are! Sushi can be presented in different ways depending on the personal style, but the general rule of presentation is simplicity; and it is from this ideal that 7 different varieties are born: Makizushi, Futomaki, Hosomaki, Temaki, Oshizushi, Nigirizushi and Inari / Inarizushi. Which variant do you prefer? But above all, have you ever wondered what is the story of this dish so loved by us Italians? The terminology “Sushi”, translated from Japanese, means “sour”. The origins of sushi are very uncertain. The most widespread opinion is that it was brought by Buddhist monks who returned from China in the seventh century. Very similar to sushi was a preparation that appeared in Japan already with the introduction of the cultivation of rice, around the fourth century BC, variant of an ancient method for preserving fish widespread in South Asia-Eastern and Chinese: the raw fish was laid out in layers with salt alternated with rice and kept pressed for a few weeks; later it was left to ferment for months. This type of sushi is called narezushi, still very popular in the Tokyo area. In the seventeenth century it began to add rice vinegar to shorten the time of fermentation of rice and the fish was marinated or cooked.
It was not until around 1820 that the closest recipe to sushi appeared in Edo (today’s Tokyo). Hanaya Yohei is the creator of the nigirizushi; he was the first to serve on his counter morsels of rice flavored with vinegar with slices of raw fish on top. Since then, the sale of sushi on the street has become widespread. A curious thing was the white curtain fixed to the stalls on which customers wiped their hands after consuming sushi. An infallible way to find the best dealer was to look at the tent: the dirtier it was, the more frequented the place was, and therefore, probably, the better the sushi. Since then, sushi has spread throughout Japan and around the world giving rise to many variations. There are also numerous initiatives and events, such as the “Découverte du Sushi”, the European Sushi Preparation Championship founded in 2003.
It is interesting to know the history of typical dishes of other places that are now part of our daily life because it is nice to discover the traditions and culture at the base of each country. And what do you think? Do you like to know the history of every dish of a culture different from yours?