Friday, October 30, 2009

Expensive American Fast Food - Sushi.

Did you know?

... that McDonald brothers were not the original inventors of fast food? About 100 years, prior to hamburger, Hanaya Yohei came up with an idea on how to capitalize on food that could be prepared quickly - sushi.

He noticed that very popular Japanese sushi preparation was taking way too long, because of fermentation. The science behind the fermentation of fish packed in rice was that the vinegar produced from fermenting rice breaks the fish down into amino acids. Once the fish was fermented, rice was dumped ("what a waste" - Hanaya thought)

Sushi comes to America.

1970s "sushinization" of America started in the city of Los Angeles, where significant number of of Japanese settled down after the World War II. To add some Asian flavor, sushi eating experience was accompanied by chopsticks (which are/were rarely used to eat sushi in Japan).

Next challenge, which had to be addressed - was it safe to eat raw fish? Major health related PR outlets were fed with reports, indicating that raw fish = very good.

All of a sudden, health industry PR outlets "forgot" about raw fish having lots of health risks- high levels of mercury, parasite infection, soy sauce (high levels of sodium) disappeared from health studies.

How to eat sushi properly.

While many dip the rice side into the soy sauce, traditional etiquette insists instead that the sushi is turned over so that the topping is dipped, as proper loosely packed rice might fall apart. The practice of mixing wasabi and soy sauce together is also an American invention, and not a proper etiquette in Japan.