Since the Japanese cuisine had been introduced to Trinidad and Tobago some odd years ago the commercialization of the sushi fetish has become a growing phenomenon. I remember the days when there was only one place I would go to get my sushi fix namely, More Vino More Sushi. Now I can pick up my sushi pack (More Vino’s commercial pack) branded as Sumo Sushi at the supermarket. There are reviews of fine sushi at Hyatt’s Sushi Bar, Sushi Express, Kaizen Sushi, Samurai Restaurant and Tao Sushi to name a few. Sushi is on most Asian and Japanese restaurant menus today. It can be found at convenience stores such as selected Superpharm outlets. Also The University of the West Indies embraced a sushi outlet this year to its St. Augustine campus.
Sushi etiquette is still the topic for debate at the sushi table. I have heard one story about eating the pickled ginger first to cleanse the palate then using the wasabi and soy sauce to dress the sushi rolls and pick them up with chopsticks. However after considerable reading I discovered another story vouching that there is no need to add dressing to the sushi or pick up the rolls with chopsticks as these rolls were traditionally eaten ‘naked’ and using bare hands. I have seen persons use both ways and even some using the knife and fork at the table (once available) to eat their sushi rolls.
The quality of sushi is always important as failure to eat the freshest and the best prepared sushi can lead to many illnesses and possibly disease. An unfortunate experience with sushi can leave you regretful and resilient to never eat sushi again. Some rolls may include crab meat and other shell fish so it is very important to read the labels on your sushi packs and the details on your menu. Also if you are not sure about something ask your server before consumption leads to your detriment. Once sushi rolls are bought they must be consumed before the next day. Sushi rolls must also be stored properly in a refrigerator or chiller as warmer temperatures can lead to spoilage. These are necessary health and safety precautions as the overall quality of the sushi roll will decline leaving the roll susceptible to bacterial growth and a higher probability of infection for the consumer.
Nonetheless, I am still an avid fan of this delightful delicacy. I am more selective and cautious with my purchase, storage and consumption time for sushi. These days I am quite fond of cooked sushi and I still use chopsticks. In my opinion all of the cooked rolls taste better ‘naked’. I do understand the need to ‘dress up‘ some of the raw sushi rolls as they are an acquired taste. Furthermore, I have been using chopsticks since I was ten years old so eating sushi rolls with chopsticks is more of a preference for me. I also see no problem with persons using their bare hands since they paid a hefty price for their sushi and they should be able to enjoy it rather than be embarrassed by their limited chopstick skills and the plopping of sushi rolls all over the dining table.
Long Live Sushi!
Let’s Go Trinidad and Tobago