Sushi is a dish made from boiled, acidified rice with slices of raw sea animals or other filling (caviar, vegetables, etc.). All this is wrapped in soy soaked and dried seaweed.
When asked who invented sushi, nine out of ten respondents will not hesitate to answer - the Japanese. In fact, the authorship of the creation of the dish, which drives all modern humanity crazy, belongs to the inhabitants of the Celestial Empire.
Back in the fourth century BC, a special method of preserving fish was used on the coast of Southeast Asia, from which the art of creating sushi was subsequently born. The bottom line was that if the fish was skinned and sprinkled with rice, it would be stored much longer. True, rice after such use had to be thrown away, but the problem of rotten fish was solved once and for all.
For almost six centuries, the conservation method had no name, and only in the second century AD did the word "sushi" appear. Moreover, by this time, the fish harvested in this way began to be served in some establishments as a culinary dish.
After another six hundred years, fish storage technology reached Japan. This happened thanks to numerous wars, as a result of which the cultures of the two countries mixed. True, the inhabitants of the Land of the Rising Sun went further than their fellows from the Celestial Empire - they began to sprinkle the fish with rice not in order to preserve it, but in order to give it a new taste and serve it as a culinary dish. It got the name nare-sushi.
At the very beginning of the 19th century, the evolution of land was completed. Specialized restaurants - sushi bars began to open throughout Japan. They received special recognition on the coast near Tokyo (at that time the city was still called Edo). The most successful in popularizing sushi was Yohei Hanaya, who later received the title of master of sushi from the country's authorities. It was this man who introduced the tradition of serving only very fresh sushi. He also came up with all the main categories of sushi: sushi itself, sashimi, rolls, nigiri, maki, etc.
Sushi is hazardous to health: thermally unprocessed seafood can contain bacteria and dangerous parasites. Certainly, there is a certain risk, because the guarantee of compliance with sanitary standards for storing food always remains on the conscience of the administration and employees of the sushi bar. According to scientists, dangerous microorganisms, which can be found in both sea and river fish, die when freezing to -60 degrees Celsius. Thus, you can try to avoid health problems only by choosing sushi bars and Japanese restaurants with a good reputation.
Sushi is ideal to wash down with Japanese plum wine. Oddly enough, this is a myth, professional sommeliers do not recommend plum wine for Japanese cuisine, explaining this by the poor combination of the sweet taste of the drink with the spicy-salty taste of sushi. Fans of national gastronomic combinations would be more appropriate to opt for sake, but any dry white wine is also suitable. Green tea is the best choice for soft drinks.
Sushi is low in calories. This is true when compared with European cuisine, for example. The energy value of one piece of tuna rolls, for example, is only 20 kcal, and one California roll will enrich the body by 28 kcal. Rice, of course, does not differ in reduced energy value: 100 grams contains 330 calories, but this is compensated by the high content of healthy fiber. But the rest of the components of sushi can really be called low-calorie and, moreover, have a positive effect on the health of lovers of Japanese cuisine. In addition to vitamins and minerals, seafood contains fatty acids that are extremely beneficial for the cardiovascular system. Nori - algae, in which rice and fish are wrapped, are a source of vitamin B12, and wasabi - a paste from the root of the same name - is a real storehouse of vitamin C.
Sushi can be made with regular rice. This is a misconception that any sushi master will easily debunk. Sushi rice needs special, with short, round and smooth grains. It contains a slightly higher amount of starch, and that gives it a special stickiness during heat treatment. Thanks to this quality, you can easily form lumps of rice that will not crumble.
Sushi and rolls are two different things. Not true. Rolls are a type of sushi that is made of small sliced rice rolls wrapped in special seaweed - nori. The Japanese name for rolls is makizushi.
The famous California rolls were invented by Americans in America. Only half true. California rolls were really invented in the USA, but by a Japanese sushi master. This wizard chef, who made a significant contribution to the popularization of sushi in America, was called Iriko Masita. The Japanese adapted the traditional dish of the land of the rising sun to the tastes of the Americans, replacing raw fish with crab meat, adding a slice of avocado, a little cucumber and complementing all this with exquisite flying fish caviar.
Rice is an important ingredient, without it sushi is not sushi. It's true. In the composition of sushi, components from seafood or vegetables can change, but the presence of rice is necessary. How then can one explain the fact that the Chinese character for sushi translates as "pickled fish" without the slightest mention of rice? The thing is that until the 16th century, rice was used not as the most important component of sushi, but only as a means to preserve the freshness of fish: it was cut into pieces and, covered with salt and rice, was stored for a year.
If the sushi is too large, you can bite it off. It is a myth. As for the rules for eating sushi, it is not customary to bite off. Even if the piece is not very small, all the same the rules of etiquette prescribe, without further ado, put it whole in your mouth.
Sushi can only be eaten with chopsticks. Myth, since not all types of sushi are suitable for eating with chopsticks. For example, such a type of sushi as temaki should be taken with your fingers, because it is simply impossible to grab 10-centimeter pieces with chopsticks. Temaki is a large cone of nori, Japanese seaweed, in which rice and other ingredients of this dish are wrapped.
Chopsticks are very difficult to use. This is only true at first glance. A certain skill, of course, is required, but learning is quite simple. The first stick should be placed in the hole between the thumb and forefinger, be sure to hold the ring with the pad. The second stick should be taken with the middle, forefinger and thumb. It is worth noting that only the second stick is set in motion, the first remains motionless.