Things that I like, part n:

Sushi. What a great food type. I’ve had it I think four times in my life, and two of those were California rolls from the UC, so really it’s more like twice. Once in Washington, DC, with a couple of my more cultured friends, and once last night with the family. They wanted to go out to eat, I wanted something new, they didn’t, so bingo! the Japanese hibachi/sushi place it is! They get an unintimidating dinner, complete with onion volcano, and I get to explore the world of sushi a little more.

What did I order? The “sushi dinner,” which is about as much a “sushi for dummies” as it sounds. 6 tuna rolls, and 8 nigiri (pieces of fish), distributed as follows: 2 tuna, 2 salmon, 1 white fish, 1 eel, 1 shrimp, 1 octopus. My thoughts? Well, I guess, obviously it’s all a little basic. But that was excellent, because now I have a basis for sushi. You know how, when you get a new CD that you know nothing about, you listen to it, and it all sounds the same? Then you find two or three songs you can pick out that you like, and you know those, and they sound different from the others. Then you start to recognize the songs before and after them, and you realize that this one is the upbeat tune that kicks off the album, and this is the quiet, introspective one that is pretty unremarkable until the great bridge, and this one is just not a very good track, and etc. Creating your world by naming, categorizing, applying value judgments to things. Anyway, that’s what I am starting to be able to do with sushi.

Salmon is a solid all-around player. Very tender, that nice salmony flavor (although, really, sushi salmon doesn’t taste much like regular salmon). White fish is white fish, kind of bland as usual, but still a nice texture. Tuna is a little drier and firmer, I like it a little less than salmon but still a lot. Eel is the first-round draft pick all-star quarterback- clearly the standout. Shrimp, well, you know what shrimp tastes like. Octopus: is pretty tough. Kind of lame.

As for the rolls, I like them all! The best I’ve had was a Rainbow Roll in DC- other than that, I like them all about the same. Eel, again, is nice. (unagi, I think it’s called- see, I learn the Japanese for that, and then I’ll start learning a few others, and pretty soon, I’ll be a sushi champ.) Also, I think we had a crunchy shrimp roll, which was nice.

And then there’s the idealistic reason that I like sushi: it’s the anti-white bread. Sushi is an experience, both for the chef and the eater. You don’t get a whole lot of food (at least compared to the typical huge american dinner) but each bite is artfully crafted. Each bite is intense and really tasty (not just “pretty good”). Plus, it looks beautiful. I appreciate any food that has effort put into making it look good, because I am entirely superficial and probably subconsciously judge a food’s taste by its appearance. And hey, it’s so different from everything else that you eat, and that’s cool too.

I will link to more information for the second post in a row: Sushi HOWTO
Educate yourself!

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