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What is sushi’s origin story?
Masayoshi Kazato’s The History of Sushi Sushi is believed to have originated in China between the fifth and third centuries B.C. as a method of preserving fish with salt. Narezushi, the original form of sushi, has been prepared in South East Asia for centuries, and traces of it can still be found in certain regions today.
Narezushi first appeared in Japan in the eighth century and continues to exist today in the form of carp sushi. Each Japanese region developed its own version of narezushi, which was primarily used to preserve food. Sushi was consumed during feasts and festivals and was an integral part of the celebration in those days.
In general, narezushi consisted of rice and fish pickled together, combined with rice vinegar and sake, and fermented under a large stone to prevent decay. However, the rice was primarily used to promote fermentation and was discarded so that only fish could be consumed.
- Izushi, which is found in Hokkaido and Tohoku, is also a type of narezushi, in which rice is mixed with yeast, topped with fish and vegetables such as radish, sprinkled with sake, wrapped in a bamboo leaf, and pressed with a heavy stone.
- This sushi is similar in flavor to asazuke (pickle) and does not typically have a strong odor; the rice melts away, leaving the fermented fish, and it is appealing to those unfamiliar with this type of food.
Sushi stand in Edo-era Japan (based on an Ukiyoe by Hiroshige Kitagawa: with thanks to Mizkan Group Co., Ltd.) Around 5000 BCE, Mesopotamia was the birthplace of vinegar, an indispensable ingredient in sushi. In the fourth or fifth century, the production of rice vinegar and wine were introduced from China to Japan.
Rice vinegar, such as the widely available Mizkan Rice Vinegar, was first introduced to the Izumi region south of Osaka, where it was produced until the Edo period under the name Izumi vinegar. The Japanese produced wine and fruit vinegars during the Heian period. Sushi sprinkled with sake or rice vinegar existed for a long time, but because making narezushi was a time-consuming process, during the Edo period, people began to produce vinegar from the sake lees.
This dish spread the practice of sprinkling rice with vinegar to make nigirizushi as a result of its widespread popularity. Nigirizushi first appeared in 1800, but it was not the bite-sized version we are accustomed to today. At that time, a piece of raw fish was placed on a rice ball-sized bed of vinegared rice.
Sushi: Chinese or Japanese cuisine?
Sushi – Is it Chinese, Korean, or Japanese? If I were to discuss the origin of sushi, Korea would be the first country to be excluded, as the origin of sushi has no connection to Korea. Now let’s discuss the remaining two countries. Sushi originated in the rice fields of Asia around the second century BCE.
China, if you want me to be specific. Regardless, your knowledge is not incorrect. Japan is the sushi capital of the world and is responsible for introducing this dish to tourists and travelers, but sushi can be traced back to a Chinese dish known as narezushi. This dish consisted of fermented rice and salted fish.
Is sushi then a Chinese dish? The intriguing fact is that the Chinese ate only pickled fish and discarded the rice. In fact, the rice was only utilized to wrap and preserve the fish. According to history, the first evidence of people eating raw fish with rice was discovered in Japan.
- Thus, sushi is Japanese cuisine.
- Sushi was brought to Japan during the eighth century.
- In the 9th and 10th centuries, it was referred to as narezushi.
- So, while the dish may have been inspired by Chinese cuisine, sushi as we know it today was created in Japan.
- In short, it was about the origin of sushi, and thus sushi was created.
If you are interested in the specifics, stay with me and continue reading.
Nigirizushi first appeared in 1800, but it was not the bite-sized version we are accustomed to today. At that time, a piece of raw fish was placed on a rice ball-sized bed of vinegared rice. Nigirizushi became known as Edomaezushi because it was made with seafood caught in the bay near Edo (now known as Tokyo), and Hanaya Yohei is still recognized as the dish’s creator.