1) Nori or Seaweed that are used to wrap the vinegar seasoned rice were considered as luxury food till a British Botanist, named Kathleen Drew Baker, discovered their reproductive process or cycle. It is now harvested and mass produced.
2) Traditionally, Apprentice Chef have to work for more than 10 years before they are allowed to handle any sashimi or meat. During the apprentice years, they are assigned manual task of washing rice and serve tables. Today, the increasing demand for these skilled chef or food artist has resulted in many starting work just after two years of training.
3) Originally, the sushi rice was never consumed. Rice was inserted into the belly of the fishes to ferment it and hence creating a unique sour taste. This method was said to originate from China and introduced into Japan during the Edo period. After a few months, when the fermentation process was completed, the rice would be discarded and only the fish would be eaten.
4) Traditionally, women were not allowed to be sushi chefs because women were believed to have comparatively higher body temperature, especially during menstruation. This means that their warm hands pose a higher chance to spoil the food or chilled fish.
5) Sushi is commonly referred to as aphrodisiac because of the common sushi fishes used- salmon and mackerel, which are high in omega 3s. Omega 3s are fatty acids that are known to help in the production of sex- hormones. Additionally, tuna is also a source of selenium, which helps to increase a male’s sperm count.
6) Do you know that there is a sequence to relish and enjoy the taste of sushi? To enjoy the full flavor of sushi, start with the white fish first, silver next, then red fishes, next onto heavier taste such as fish roes and then lastly fatty fishes.
7) You may be wondering why is there always some green plastic grass in your take- out sushi box. What you did not know is that historically, the chefs used to use real grass to let the sushi stay fresher longer. Now, these plastic grass also serves a divider, to separate the various sushi or ginger and wasabi from bleeding onto the sushi.
8) The ever popular California sushi, was invented for the western market to suit their taste buds around the 70s. Then, they were not open to eating raw food, so the Japanese chef, Toyo, who migrated to Canada, created its ingredients using avocado, crabstick, cucumber and fishes roes with mayonnaise. Then, he even put the seaweed inside out (and not wrapped around the rice), as not to put them off, as they were not familiar with the taste and were often put off by the colour.
Sushi has evolve a long way to become what it is today- popular and embraced by a lot of people and foodies worldwide, who love the taste and visual sight of it.
Hope you find these 8 facts about sushi interesting!