Sushi is Raw Fish
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Sushi is raw fish.

Don’t Believe That!

Some people like sushi, some don’t. And some refuse to even try it, expressing their disgust at eating “raw fish.” The belief that sushi includes raw fish is very widespread but not at all accurate. Sushi may, in fact, contain no fish at all!

Sushi originated centuries ago in Southeast Asia. The word means “sour tasting” and originally referred to fish wrapped in fermenting rice. In the 1300s, vinegar was added to enhance the taste and shorten the fermentation process. Fermentation was eventually abandoned completely; the modern form of sushi (vinegared rice combined with other ingredients such as seafood, vegetables or even fruit) was developed by Hanaya Yohei in the 1800s as a type of “fast food” that could be quickly eaten with your hands.

Raw fish (known as sashimi, not sushi) is sometimes included as a sushi ingredient, but is not nearly as common outside of Japan. In the United States, FDA regulations require that raw seafood must be frozen prior to serving (to kill parasites). Because of these regulations, and the difficulty of acquiring fresh seafood in most of the country, it is an uncommon ingredient in American-style sushi. Americans have, however, put their own spin on the dish with such creations as the California Roll (containing crab or imitation crab, cucumber and avocado).

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