Is sushi really a Japanese invention?
Strictly speaking, sushi is Japanese: The nigirizushi (hand-pressed sushi) we eat today began as street snacks, sold by sidewalk vendors, in nineteenth-century Tokyo. But the culture of the sushi bar has more varied influences. For example, the Japanese didn’t much care for tuna—or the idea of fatty red meat—until they saw Americans import beef during the post-war occupation and eat it as greasy steaks. Now Japanese sushi culture revolves around tuna, usually the fattier the better. And it’s trade that satisfies that appetite. I trace the birth of modern sushi to the day in the summer of 1972 when Japan Air Lines carried four Canadian bluefin to Tokyo’s Tsukiji market, the first time Atlantic fish had arrived in Japan by air. In a sense, contemporary sushi culture was born as much on the shores of Prince Edward Island as in any Japanese restaurant. How does fish get from the ocean to a Japanese restaurant? How does sushi roll onto my dinner plate so to speak? The path from sea to plate