Once known only among Japanese food lovers, this food has experienced an increase in popularity during recent years. Restaurants in Western Europe compete in offering the best culinary experience, and alternatives can be found even for smaller pockets. If you have ever wondered how it all began, here you have it. Let’s take a small incursion in the history of the most famous Japanese food, sushi.
“Sushi originates in a Southeast Asian dish, known as narezushi (馴れ寿司, 熟寿司 – “salted fish”), stored in fermented rice for possibly months at a time. The lacto- fermentation of the rice prevented the fish from spoiling; the rice would be discarded before consumption of the fish. This early type of sushi became an important source of protein for its Japanese consumers. The term sushi comes from an antiquated grammatical form no longer used in other contexts, and literally means “sour-tasting”; the overall dish has a sour and umami or savoury taste.”
During the Muromachi period, vinegar began to be added, in order to not only enhance the taste, but also to preserve the dish longer. But the form of sushi we all know today appeared in Edo period, when “fresh fish was served over vinegared rice and nori”.
Nowadays, sushi comes in different shapes and forms. Different fillings and toppings are ready to tickle your taste buds, from Inarizushi (a pouch of fried tofu typically filled with sushi rice), to Makizushi (rolled sushi), or Nigirizushi (hand-pressed sush). To compliment it, a variety of condiments are offered. Either dipped in soy sauce, flavoured with wasabi, or with Japanese-style mayonnaise, the dish has definitely
something to offer to everybody.


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