The Sushi Revolution
With ancient roots in the paddy fields of Asia, Sushi has certainly come a long way since then. Even before the time of Christ, the locals here in Southeast Asia were practicing the art of preserving fish inside fermented cooked rice. It was to be several centuries later that the technique arrived in Japan, but it was there that it took on its current, delectable form of the sushi roll.
Swapping fermentation for the addition of vinegar, the same fish preserving method made its way across to the shores of Japan, and eventually arrived onto the street markets of old Edo, now Tokyo. It was here that Sushi in its most recognized form was created. It became a staple of the working classes, a convenience food for the poor and a far cry from its fine dining associations of today. The dish gained in popularity over the centuries until it became somewhat of a national dish for the Japanese.
Fast forward to today and Sushi has become synonymous with Japanese cuisine. The world has certainly taken heed, increasingly embracing a new healthier style of eating, choosing these bite size, omega three, protein powerhouses over the saturated fat laden snacks of the west.
Diners from Mumbai to Rio are savoring the mouthwatering flavours of this traditional far eastern dish. So how did it get so popular? Let’s take a look at how the world fell in love with Sushi.
While much of the globe remained in the dark when it came to far eastern cuisine, in 1929 the Ladies’ Home Journal of North America introduced Japanese recipes to the American market for the first time. Although at this stage the American public were not quite ready for raw fish, it was still the beginnings of a shift in the culinary mindset of the nation.
It took until the 1960’s for articles featuring Sushi in its true form to begin being published in lifestyle magazines, slowly transforming the once unheard of dish into a sign of social standing and class. It was the opening of a sushi bar in New York’s Harvard Club in 1972 that really set the ball rolling, and press coverage following the opening led to a string of Sushi restaurants popping up across Manhattan.
As is the case with many trends the United States, it didn’t take long for the Sushi wave to spread across Europe and the rest of the Western world. Trendy revolving conveyor belt style eateries popped up in capital cities everywhere, enticing Sushi virgins to try the exotic new dish with a novelty appeal.
Today foodies are enjoying Sushi on every continent, swapping carb loaded sandwiches for the delectable lightness of an Uramaki or Sashimi.
Found everywhere from Michelin star fine dining restaurants to the refrigerated shelves of the petrol station convenience store, the world has wholeheartedly embraced the Sushi revolution.