Sushi is one of the most popular dishes in Japan. Japanese usually enjoy having sushi on special occasions like Hanami, Hina Matsuri, etc. It has a very interesting history. It had its origin in China and became popular in Japan. In the past, any fish caught had to be preserved and the only method possible was by fermentation.
Fish caught was cleaned, filleted and pressed between layers of salt weighted down with a stone until it is fermented. Over the time, this process was developed to rolling the fish soaked in vinegar in rice. The fermentation took place in a matter of days rather than months. During the Edo period, sushi referred to pickled fish conserved in vinegar. However, sushi is now called as a dish containing rice.
There are different types of sushi available in Japan. The most sought-after ones are Nigiri, Temaki, Norimaki, Oshizushi, etc. Nigirizushi consists of small rice balls with fish, shellfish, etc. on top. Norimaki, on the other hand, is sushi rice and seafood, etc. rolled in dried seaweed sheets. Temakizushi are cones made of nori seaweed and filled with sushi rice, seafood and vegetables while Oshizushi is pressed sushi in a wooden box.
Japanese eat sushi at a sushiya or kaiten-zushi. Sushiya is a restaurant where the food is served by the waiter or chef personally to people. In kaiten-zushi, people have to choose the dish from the plates of sushi that pass in front of the customers on a conveyor belt. In other words, kaiten-zushi is called an automated sushi restaurant.
Nowadays, Japanese sushi culture revolves around tuna for its fatty red meat. But sushi is not raw fish. As the name indicates, sushi is indicates foods that use rice seasoned with sweet rice-wine vinegar. Though raw fish is the most popular ingredient in sushi, the main element of sushi is Japanese sticky rice. It is low in fat and is a very nutritious food.
Sushi, as such, retains its own value in Japan. This is possible because of the new infrastructure of globalization.