Sushi is now one of the most popular international dishes in the United States, and there are currently around 16,000 sushi restaurants here. It’s really not hard to see that Americans love this dish.
History of Sushi
Sushi has been around for over a thousand years and it can be traced to the rice fields of China. Surprised? We assume sushi was first created in Japan but its roots are actually in China, in a dish known as narezushi.
Narezushi is comprised of fermented rice and salted fish. This practical dish has been around 2,000 years and was created to stop food from going bad. Remember, there were no refrigerators at the time so people needed something to prevent bacterial growth – hence the rice was fermented and the fish had to be salted.
In the 8th century, Chinese traders brought this dish to Japan and the first reference to sushi was in year 718 in the Yoro Code. The dish gradually evolved. When the Japanese started eating thrice a day, they boiled their rice and used rice vinegar to help the rice become fermented a lot more quickly. In the mid-18th century sushi was introduced in Edo with 3 sushi restaurants Matsunozushi, Yoheizushi and Kenukizushi. A couple of decades later, there were already thousands more that one newspaper writer even said there’s 1-2 sushi restaurants for every 100 x 100 square meter block.
Sushi in the West
In the early 1900s, sushi arrived in the West after the Meiji Restoration but it only became popular among the wealthy. Plus there was a decline in the number of Japanese who migrated to the US. After the World War II, particularly in the ‘60s, sushi became popular again and even middle class Americans started eating it. And they loved it too! Here are the main reasons why Americans love this dish:
Reason #1: Sushi is Healthy
Fish is a wonderful source of protein and omega 3 fatty acids. Salmon and tuna in particular have lots of protein and healthy fats which are good for your heart. Sushi also has vitamin B, D, zinc, selenium and iodine.
Reason #2: Sushi is Convenient
You don’t need utensils to eat it except just chopsticks. It’s also not messy to eat. You just use the soy sauce and some wasabi, pop it in your mouth and that’s it. If you’re not one to eat a big meal or you don’t want a lot of bells and whistles in your meal, sushi is the way to go.
Reason #3: Sushi is Inexpensive
The average price for a sushi roll is about $5 – $8 – that’s just about the same price as fast food except you get a healthier meal. Of course if you go to Barack Obama’s favorite sushi restaurant, expect to pay a lot more. But generally speaking sushi is really affordable.
Sushi is the one dish that almost everyone can eat. If you are allergic to fish, there are other kinds of sushi you can go for. If you don’t eat meat, there are vegetarian sushi as well. You can find different varieties of vegetable sushi and it does not have to be fish or seafood all of the time.
Want to know where you can order the best sushi in the world? Watch this: