What Sushi Is...
The Japanese word sushi refers only to the rice. The seaweed, nori, wrapped around the rice and its contents was originally incorporated to prevent the fingers from getting sticky, but has since become a salty and delectable addition to this style of Japanese food. Sushi is commonly misconceived as a raw fish dish, but sashimi is actually only one style of sushi that includes raw fish.
Sushi...A History
In the 7th century, the Japanese began utilizing the newly developed Southeast Asian technique of pickling, packing fish with rice to preserve it and then discarding the rice and consuming the fish. This lengthy process of pickling fish was altered in the 15th and 16th century by including the rice as part of the meal. Through the next few centuries innovative Japanese chefs added flavors such as vinegar, raw fish (which is only one variation of sushi called Sashimi), other seafood and vegetables. Sushi’s popularity has grown internationally and its presence in the U.S. has spurred an entire trend of seeking out sushi bars and enjoying the array of artistic colors and healthy, delicious flavor combinations in a delightful social setting.