It’s always interesting to learn about something new. Especially quirky things that people don’t normally think about. So, BFF Asian Grill brings you more interesting facts about our favorite thing to eat: Sushi!
In A.D. 8th-century Japan, sushi was so highly prized that people were allowed to use it to pay taxes.
Sushi used to be sold from street vendors until an earthquake in 1923 caused land prices to decline that allowed sushi vendors to build brick-and-mortar stores. By the 1950s, sushi was mostly served indoors at restaurants.
Modern advances in refrigeration technology in the 1970s and the ability to transport sushi-grade fish long distances increased the demand for premium sushi in Japan. Sophisticated sushi bars popped up throughout the country and a growing network of distributors and suppliers enabled sushi to expand across the globe.
Hanaya Yohei is credited as the inventor or introducer of sushi in Japan close to the mid-1800s. He used tuna fish caught from the Tokyo Bay and slightly cooked or marinated the fish in soy sauce or vinegar to prevent spoilage. He served slices of fish on vinegared rice balls.
Los Angeles became the first U.S. city to introduce sushi to American food culture. Noritoshi Kanai and his business partner opened a sushi restaurant in Little Tokyo in 1966. It is believed to be the first known place to offer traditional nigiri sushi to Americans.
As the popularity and demand for sushi grew far and wide in America, the first sushi restaurant outside Little Tokyo opened in Hollywood in 1970. It catered mostly to Hollywood celebrities who had taken a liking for this Japanese delicacy.
Wasabi was used to kill parasites. The heat of real wasabi comes from the antimicrobial chemicals present in the plant, and it was used in sushi to kill any parasites and microbes in raw fish. With advances in technology, fish and seafood are now flash-frozen, ruling out the fear of parasites. However, wasabi paste is still served with sushi as a tradition.