Sushi – A Japanese Staple with History and Cultural Significance

Sushi pic

Sushi
Image: allrecipes.com

Julissa Guzman is an independent makeup artist in New York with a passion for her work and a goal of bringing out each client’s natural beauty. Outside her professional work, Julissa Guzman enjoys sampling the cuisines of various cultures, especially Japanese sushi. Despite its nearly worldwide spread, many still consider sushi a staple of Japanese culture and distinctive to the nation.

The history of sushi dates back over 2,000 years and begins with the conception of narezushi, which involves packing fish by pressing it in rice and salt. Japanese fisherman used the technique to preserve freshly caught fish and allow for a natural fermentation process, although people normally threw away any remaining rice. Sushi underwent further evolution during the 18th century when Tokyo chef Yohei Hanaya decided to forgo the fermentation process and served the rice-pressed fish on its own. The dish met with success and the popularity of sushi began to rise. As sushi gained in popularity, two distinct styles were developed by chefs in Osaka and Tokyo.

Japanese culture regards the creation of sushi as an art form due to the careful preparation that goes into its appearance. In Japan, chefs tend to establish their own styles for rolling and plating the dish and may spend years learning the craft of sushi-making. Chefs must master a variety of skills in order to become successful sushi-makers, such as the proper ways to clean and cut fish, how to press rice by hand, and learning to add sauces appropriately. Furthermore, Japanese culinary schools often dedicate entire programs to the art of sushi.