Sushi-Lover Population Grows

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Sushi-Lover Population Grows

Jami Citko, Staff

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Ask a child if they like sushi, and they’ll probably crinkle their nose in disgust. Ask an adult or teenager if they like sushi, and one of two things will happen: they’ll either react the same way, or their eyes will widen as they begin to crave the food.
Most of us can remember being a little kid and thinking sushi was utterly disgusting. It always seemed like the most exotic food out there, and if offered to try it many of us would likely have refused outright.
Now, however, many of these opinions have changed, and sushi has become a popular sensation. Today, there are at least 20 restaurants that serve sushi just in the Catonsville area and, according to Mental Floss, about 4,000 sushi restaurants in the United states. A poll conducted between Catonsville High School students revealed that nearly 2/3 of them like sushi.
“When I first tried it, I thought ‘what have I been missing out on my whole entire life?’ The combination of fish and sticky rice is surprisingly sweet,” expressed sophomore Ian Sterling, a freshly-turned sushi-lover (and now addict).
Sterling is among the vast population of sushi-lovers at CHS. When I first entered the sushi world, I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of other people I’ve met who also love sushi. They seem to be everywhere these days, and the numbers grow as more people are willing to try it. The question of why remains an object of speculation.
Blogger Mabel Kwong suggests that its popularity may come from convenience, health, taste, variety, and the fact that it is exotic. All of these seem like sound reasons for people to like sushi, but the question of why more people are beginning to like it recently is still unanswered.
For this, we first must visit sushi’s official website, which explains that the first place to sell sushi in America was a Japanese restaurant in Little Tokyo, Los Angeles, called Kawafuku. They began serving sushi in the 1960s, which became increasingly popular among businessmen and began America’s sushi revolution.
Since then, as Paste Magazine illustrates, it has become highly Americanized. Most sushi chefs in America nowadays aren’t even Japanese, restaurants that serve sushi are plentiful, and hundreds of new sushi rolls have been invented that implement more American foods. It’s no wonder that so many Americans love sushi these days.
Despite the craze, however, not all Americans (or CHS students) feel the same. Some, like junior Keshab Baskota, don’t like sushi.
“It doesn’t taste good. It was cold, and I didn’t like the aftertaste,” Baskota explained.
There are certainly a lot of people out there who aren’t fond of the tastes that sushi brings to the table, and some people don’t even want to try it, which is fine, though many of us would agree that they’re missing out.
There is also a considerable amount of debate over whether people should eat raw sushi. Although many immediately think of raw fish upon hearing the word “sushi,” There are many kinds of sushi that are cooked, like the common California roll, which contains crab, and the dragon roll, which contains eel and shrimp.
Some people limit themselves to cooked sushi only, fearing food poisoning, parasites, or excess amounts of mercury. According to The Guardian, eating uncooked sushi has given people a condition called anisakiasis, which results in continuous pain, vomiting, and fever and is caused by a certain parasitic worm. Tonic claims that parasites aren’t common because most sushi chefs freeze raw fish before serving it, but that it isn’t very rare to contract mercury poisoning from raw fish, especially those higher up on the food chain, like tuna.
Some people, however, believe that the goodness of sushi is worth the risk.
“The mercury levels probably aren’t the best, but I don’t care because sushi is amazing; I love it so much,” sophomore Solomon Robin expressed.
Regardless of your opinion on sushi, it certainly has proven its place in America today, and may quite possibly become even more popular in years to come.