The Sushi of Yesterday and Today

15 Sep

In the ever-changing world of today, people go in and out of trends constantly. One such trend that a growing number of individuals are following these days is becoming a “foodie”, or a self-declared food critic and expert. In the words of Masanobu Fukuoka, modern society encourages people to “eat with their minds, not with their bodies” (The One-Straw Revolution, 137). As a farmer and philosopher, Fukuoka believed in a spiritual connection between man and nature, emphasizing the importance of eating food in its natural state by listening to ones bodily needs rather than manipulating food to conform to societal standards.

One food trend that exemplifies the “foodies” of today is the Americanization of sushi. Traditionally, sushi is prepared with simple ingredients consisting of rice, seaweed, and a piece of seafood, such as raw fish. Due to its simplistic ingredients, traditional sushi usually bears a pure, delicate taste. Recently, “foodies” in America began turning their attention to sushi, but not in its traditional form. Many restaurants now serve Americanized sushi bestowed with extravagant names to attract new customers, such as Dragon Roll, Tiger Roll, and Volcano Roll. The emergence of these modern types of sushi prevents many people from understanding and appreciating sushi in its natural form. Unlike its predecessors, these new forms of sushi are topped with various sauces and decorated with heaps of colorful ingredients to convey a sense of fanciness, therefore resulting in bold flavors. Consequently, “foodies” today claim to be absolute fans of sushi despite the fact that they never even tasted raw fish before.

To Fukuoka, this is a tragedy. Being blinded by modern society’s insatiable hunger for innovative, artful dining, many people today fail to appreciate the simple, nutritious nature of traditional sushi served with seafood in its most natural state.

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