History of Sushi
When thinking of sushi most people associate it with Japan and being from Japanese origins, but this isn’t entirely true. It is thought that sushi actually originated in Southeast Asia and started off being a method to preserve fish for long periods of time. It is thought that the fish was salted and covered in rice, which then fermented and helped preserve the fish and give it a distinctive flavour. At this stage, the rice was thrown away and only the fish eaten.
This spread throughout Asia, reaching China and eventually Japan, however this method took months for the fish to be ready so a quicker method was created in Japan around the 16th Century. Rice vinegar was added to the rice to create the same sour taste and gradually the fermentation was removed, thus reducing the time taken significantly. The rice was also eaten with the fish by this time.
In the early 19th century sushi really took off in Japan and became a popular street food incorporating raw fish with vinegared rice, and became the sushi that is recognisable to us today. Since then, sushi has spread in popularity worldwide, with many sushi restaurants and chains opening to cater for demand. Sushi has become trendy and fashionable, and has been adapted and changed to cater for more Western tastes – including the removal of raw fish from many pieces of sushi.
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