Sushi is immensely popular around the world, as its known for being healthy and tasty - but how much do you really know about it? You might be surprised, you should enjoy reading our roundup of sushi facts and trivia below.
It’s not fish fresh from the sea.
The United States Food and Drug Administration stipulates that all fish to be eaten raw (with the exception of tuna) must be frozen first, in order to kill parasites.
Sweetness, sourness, saltiness, bitterness, and?
Umami, the 'fifth taste' first identified by a Japanese scientist a century ago that is usually defined as a meaty, savoury, satisfying taste.
You're not supposed to use chopsticks.
The method for eating sushi is more or less to hold the sushi piece like it's a computer mouse, slowly flip it over, and lightly drench one side in the nikiri/soy provided.
Rice vinegar preserves food.
Rice vinegar has fantastic antibacterial properties, and has long been used to preserve food. Rice vinegar also aids digestion and can lower the risk of high blood pressure.
It wasn’t always served in small pieces.
It wasn't until the end of the Edo or Tokugawa era (1603-1868) that sushi was served in bite-size pieces. Customers ate sushi while standing, so for decades sushi was considered a finger/fast food.
Seaweed is a super food.
Some people might consider seaweed an unusual food, but it is highly nutritious. It contains protein, minerals, and is rich in vitamin A, B1, B2, B6, niacin and C. Seaweed helps prevent cholesterol deposits from building up in the blood vessels.
Darker nori is better nori.
The darker the nori – the seaweed “paper” often in the preparation of sushi -, the higher the quality.
Good sushi rice takes years to cook.
Making sushi rice is considered an art by sushi chefs. Chefs spend years learning how to prepare and cook it to perfection. This rice is cooked perfectly when it is slightly sticky to the touch.
The wasabi you are eating is not wasabi.
Turns out that real wasabi is difficult to grow and even more difficult to properly package. So what you eat at is actually horseradish powder, mustard, and green food colouring.
Sushi is not raw fish
Despite popular perceptions, sushi is not raw fish. Raw fish is sashimi. Sushi is a food that uses rice seasoned with sweet-rice vinegar. Raw fish is often used in sushi but the main element is rice.
Sushi is not from Japan.
It originated in the 4th century BC, in Southeast Asia where it was salted and fermented with rice to preserve it. After a couple of months of fermentation the fish was removed from the rice, and the rice discarded. It eventually spread to China, and was introduced into Japan in the 8th century. The Japanese preferred to eat their fish with rice and so the modern Japanese variant was born.