This Sunday, 18 June, two perfect events coincide: it’s officially International Sushi Day and, as if the day couldn’t get any better, it’s also Father’s Day. And what better way to celebrate the fathers in our lives than by treating them to a delicious sampling of sushi, so whether you plan to buy in Halaal fish to make your own sushi (kudos to you) or whether you plan to treat your dad at your favourite sushi hangout, here are a few sushi facts, courtesy of International Business Times, you can use to impress and amuse your guest of honour.
- The word ‘sushi’ does not actually refer to raw fish; it actually refers to the vinegar-flavoured rice that may sometimes be paired with raw seafood.
- It’s widely believed that the sushi we know and love originally came from Japan, but inspiration for the dish may actually have begun in Southeast Asia before finding its way to China and only then Japan.
- While the cost of sushi today is extravagant to say the least (so it’s definitely worth saving for a special occasion like Dad’s Day), sushi originally began as a cheap fast food that people would eat during theatre performances.
- If you’ve ever sat at the conveyor belt and watched in awe as a sushi chef masterfully cuts, dices and rolls your favourite treat; it’s thanks to exceptional training – sushi chefs used to have to undergo 10 years of training before any restaurateur would hire them.
- Sushi is considered a finger food, so it’s perfectly acceptable to eat it with your hands – chopsticks are usually reserved for sashimi, the delectable slivers of raw fish served on its own.
- Turns out we’re breaking all the dipping rules: the rice side of our sushi piece should not be dipped in the sauce, only the fish side – if the rice becomes saturated in soya and begins to fall apart it’s considered sloppy.
- Chopsticks left in the upright position in the bowl is taboo as this is seen as a symbol of offering food to the dead, rather place them across the place setting to show that you’re done.
And as for sushi accompaniments, wasabi and ginger, remember that traditionally wasabi should only be eaten with sashimi with a tiny piece added to the sliver of Halaal fish itself and not to the soya sauce; and ginger should be eaten on its own between pieces as a way to cleanse the palate in preparation for the next delicious morsel.
If you’re suddenly craving the delicate flavour of salmon, the saltiness of soya and the bite of wasabi, you’re not alone! See you at the conveyor belt and Happy Father’s Day to all.