Cultural Appropriation 101

English: Western Sushi found at Wegmans Superm...

Supermarket Sushi (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Okay, so I was wrong about not having to specify that you want “Japanese sushi.”

At Jenn’s suggestion, I researched California rolls. An L.A. chef invented them to appeal to American tastes. Apparently, many Americans wanted to try sushi, but were put off by the idea of eating either raw fish or seaweed. Since real sushi is basically raw fish, seaweed and rice, this was a problem. California rolls get around this by putting vegetables and cooked fish and maybe an itty-bitty piece of seaweed inside a big sticky mess of rice. Even American sushi that’s not called a “California roll” is often made along this same model. I’ve noticed when I look at sushi, a lot of it’s made that way, with the rice on the outside (which I don’t like). In Japan, you’d just about never see this.

So now I’m wondering if the lovely vegetable-in-ricepaper sushi I get are anywhere near authentic, or if they’re “American sushi” too.

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