Where did sushi originally come from?

Japan is an island country in East Asia. It is located in the northwest of the Pacific Ocean and is bordered on the west by the Sea of Japan, while it extends from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea, the Philippine Sea and Taiwan in the south. The concept of sushi was probably introduced to Japan in the 9th century, and became popular there as Buddhism spread. The Buddhist dietary practice of abstaining from eating meat led many Japanese people to turn to fish as a staple food.

The Japanese are credited with first preparing sushi as a whole dish, eating the fermented rice along with the canned fish. This combination of rice and fish is known as nare-zushi or aged sushi. Sushi is said to have originated in China between the 5th and 3rd centuries BC, as a means of preserving fish in salt. Narezushi, the original form of sushi, has been made in Southeast Asia for centuries, and today, there are still traces of it in some parts.

Narezushi appeared in Japan in the 8th century, and it still survives today in the form of foods such as carp sushi. Narezushi was primarily a means of preserving food, and each Japanese region developed its own version. In those days, sushi was eaten during holidays and festivals, and it was also an integral part of the celebration. Generally speaking, narezushi was made of rice and pickled fish together, mixed with rice vinegar and sake, placed under a large stone to prevent decay, and allowed to ferment.

However, rice was mainly used to promote fermentation, and was discarded so that only fish could be eaten. The method spread throughout China and, by the 7th century, had reached Japan, where seafood has historically been a staple food. The Japanese, however, took the concept further and began to eat rice with fish. Originally, the dish was prepared in the same way.

However, in the early 17th century, Matsumoto Yoshiichi, who lived in Edo (the city we now know as Tokyo) began seasoning rice with rice wine vinegar while preparing his' sushi 'for sale. This allowed the dish to be eaten immediately, rather than waiting for the months it would normally take to prepare the sushi. Sushi originated in Southeast Asia as a way to increase the shelf life of fish by placing it in fermenting rice. A fourth-century Chinese dictionary contains a character meaning pickled fish with rice and salt.

People discovered that when they placed salted fish in fermenting rice, the fish was preserved through a pickling process. This was the first type of sushi. When cooked rice begins its fermentation process, lactic acid bacilli are released. Bacilli interact with salt to pickle fish.

The basic idea behind making sushi is the practice of preserving fish with salt and fermenting with rice, a process that probably dates back to the seafood preservation methods used in Southeast Asia, where countries have a long history of growing rice. The process originated during the Tang Dynasty in China, although modern Japanese sushi evolved to bear little resemblance to this original Chinese food. Creative additions such as cream cheese, spicy mayonnaise and fried rolls reflect a clear Western influence that sushi connoisseurs love and despise alternately. The first form of sushi, a dish now known as narezushi, has its likely origin in the Baiyue fields and rice fields of ancient southern China.

There is such a demand for sushi chefs today, especially in the West, that many receive just six months of training before going to work as qualified sushi chefs. The history of sushi is shrouded in some degree of mystery, but the basic concept has been part of human culture for almost 2 millennia. Originally, algae were scraped off spring piles, rolled into sheets, and dried in the sun in a paper-making process. Traditional sushi restaurants sit next to “fusion” restaurants, and both are popular for their own reasons.

In Japan, and increasingly abroad, sushi restaurants (kaiten zushi) are a popular and inexpensive way to eat sushi. In the mid-18th century, sushi spread to Edo, where three famous sushi restaurants opened: Matsunozushi, Kenukizushi and Yoheizushi. During the Edo period, a third type of sushi, haya-zushi (、, fast sushi) was developed. Many small sushi restaurants don't actually use plates, sushi is eaten directly from the wooden countertop, usually with your hands, despite the historical tradition of eating nigiri with chopsticks.

Sushi sprinkled with sake or rice vinegar had been around for a long time, but because making narezushi was a long process, in the Edo period, people started making vinegar from sake lees. More traditionally, sushi is served in minimalist Japanese-style, geometric, wooden or lacquer dishes, in mono or double color, in line with the aesthetic qualities of this kitchen. Served from its stall, this was not only the first of true “fast food” sushi, but it quickly became very popular. .