Yuk. Raw fish! How could you? Back in the days when I was living in Valdez, Alaska, I would fly to Anchorage for meetings and dental appointments. I’d fly up in the morning, rent a car, and fly back that evening. Inevitably, I’d have a shopping list that included tuna fish – to make sushi. One of my first dates with TW, the man with an insatiable appetite for sushi, was to a chinese restaurant in Valdez that also did…sushi. I still remember my reaction. Yuk. Raw fish! How could you?As for the perfumed ginger and the gullet-wrenching wasabi sauce…
When I worked with AP in London, she would always eat sushi before a flight. And once, again in London, I found myself with a Polish couple making sushi for a dinner party. I didn’t stay to eat. I’ve never understood the fascination with it.
Yet the art of sushi (and I now believe it is an art) dates back to the 7th century, when in Southeast Asia, pickling was discovered and passed on to the Japanese. In a nutshell: pickling=packing fish with rice. As the fish fermented the rice produced a lactic acid which in turn caused the pickling of the pressed fish. Nare-Sushi is 1300 years old and refers to the finished edible product resulting from this early method.
It found a new popularity in the States in the 1970s and became a regular feature in restaurants world-wide. The most common forms are: Nigiri sushi (hand shaped sushi), Oshi-sushi (pressed sushi), Maki-Sushi (rolled sushi) and Chirashi-sushi (scattered sushi).
Last time I was in Malta, I noticed that there are now three restaurants within walking distance of my hotel offering sushi on the menu. So I went to the first – the one that has been there the longest. I hadn’t a clue what I was doing and asked the girl behind me in the queue to choose for me. She did. And I stopped by for a takeaway every night that week.
In addition to really enjoying it, I also convinced myself that it was low-fat and healthy and that the weight would simple drop off me. I was wrong there. But as food goes, it is good for you. There are, of course, health risks and there is also a whole etiquette attached to eating sushi. I reckon that, like wine, some aficionados can be awful bores. Me? I simply know what I like.
I spent the last week in Belgrade where it got up to 40 degrees in the shade. I went back to visit the Supermarket and had a great night out with the ladies… oiled by Aperol spritzers and sated by sushi.
On reflection, this week I’m grateful that life is still throwing up new experiences; that I still haven’t done ‘everything’; and that my horizons are continually expanding. I have a good life, I know some great people, and while I might have come to the whole sushi experience rather late in life, I know there are many more new experiences out there just waiting to be savoured.
Note: For a reminder of what the Grateful series is about, check out the post Grateful 52