The Doís, the Doníts, and the Oh God, Please Doníts of Eating Sushi 

Do you enjoy a good feast of sushi every now and then? Did you know thereís a particular form of etiquette associated with eating your favourite sushi recipes? Did you know that, after all of these years, youíve been eating sushi all wrong, and possibly even humiliating yourself and your friends when youíre out at the sushi bar? If so, today you shall be enlightened. Here are the doís, the doníts, and the oh, God, please doníts of eating sushi.  

According to historical records, sushi recipes likely came about in Japan during the 8th century. Originally, sushi was a primary means of preserving rice and fish, two of Japanís main staple foods. Sushi means ďitís sourĒ in Japanese, which probably refers to early fermenting techniques, which made the dish a fairly sour one. Although many North Americans tend to associate sushi with raw fish these days, this isnít actually the case. Today, sushi refers to rice flavoured with vinegar and then topped with special ingredients, of which raw fish can sometimes be a part. Although itís not clear why we often mistake sushi for raw fish, it could possibly have something to do with those original sushi recipes served in Japan, which consisted of fermented fish and salt-preserved rice. Or we could have mixed it up with ďsashimiĒ, another Japanese food recipe that serves raw fish all on its own, without any rice included. Whatever the case, this is one of the first important lessons we need to learn about sushi Ė that itís all about the rice, not the raw fish topping. Another important fact about sushi is that, in Japan, itís actually a very simple dish that usually only contains one type of fish or vegetable. Authentic Japanese sushi does not have all of the different varieties we know of in North America today, such as ďCalifornia-styleĒ sushi and ďWestern-styleĒ sushi. Japanese sushi goes very easy on the condiments, as well. Sushi is not drowned in wasabi soy sauce, for example, as it often is here; in fact, these two condiments (wasabi and soy sauce) are kept separate and used sparingly Ė the sushi recipe should have enough flavour on its own, and the fresh ocean taste should be allowed to shine through.

Sushi recipes might be an acquired taste for some, but thereís also a learning curve when it comes to eating sushi correctly. Both sushi-making and sushi-eating are ancient art forms that take some time for Westerners to fully integrate. Sushi can be a healthy dinner recipe that you can make at home and add to your healthy food plan, providing you are able to find all of the ingredients at your local sushi store. It can also, believe it or not, be a fun recipe for kids. For example, sushi can be a fun finger food that is eaten in one big bite. Learning how to eat sushi properly can also be an enjoyable process for you to share with your kids, once you learn how to master it. Kids love learning new ways of doing everyday things and new customs come naturally to them. Taking a break from the usual fork and spoon could be of great interest to them.

This amusing, educational article on the dos and doníts of eating sushi comes from ďThe Bold ItalicĒ website, an online magazine based in San Francisco. If you enjoy reading about city news, city culture, city life, city lifestyle, city cooking, city recipes, and city cuisine Ė all based in and around San Francisco and the Bay area, this is a very vibrant, enjoyable blog to visit.*

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