International Sushi Day
annually on June 18th
This is a day dedicated to the Japanese food, sushi. Contrary to popular belief, sushi doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with raw fish. Vinegared rice must be used in order for the food to be called sushi. Other foods such as seafood and vegetables are added, which are called neta. Plain raw seafood slices are called sashimi, and are technically not sushi. In America, maki rolls are a popular type of sushi, which include the rice and neta wrapped in seaweed. Many times soy sauce, pickled ginger, and wasabi are served with the rolls. Some popular types of rolls are the California Roll, which includes avocado, imitation crab, and cucumber, and the Philadelphia Roll, which consists of cream cheese, raw or smoked salmon, and cucumber. Originally, in Southeast Asia, fish was wrapped in fermented rice so it could be preserved for many months, and the rice was then discarded. Later the rice started being eaten with the fish instead of just being used to preserve it. It wasn’t until between 1600 and 1800 AD that vinegar started being added to the rice and seafood and vegetables began being wrapped in it.
How to Observe
Celebrate the day by eating sushi! There are so many variations to try. Not only are there many variations of the maki roll, there are many other types of sushi that are more popular in Japan. This is a great day to try any type of sushi you can find, and the best place to do so is at an authentic Japanese restaurant. If you don’t want to eat out you could try to make your own sushi at home. While you are making your sushi you may want to listen to some music, such as the song “Sushi Bar” by Japanese band Shonen Knife.