Celebrate International Sushi Day on June 18


Art credit: jcstudio - www.freepik.com

We get it—raw fish can be intimidating and an acquired taste. There may even be a certain “ick factor.” But don’t let your fears stop you from sampling one of Japan’s notable dishes—sushi. Sushi has evolved over time and can be prepared in many ways—including cooked for those who cannot stomach raw fish. Whether you use chopsticks or your fingers, celebrate this Japanese tradition on International Sushi Day—June 18!

Sushi has been around for years—we’re talking since the second century—and it actually was first mentioned in China. Sushi was originally a method for preserving food—fish was placed in rice and allowed to ferment. After several weeks or months, the rice was thrown away and the individual ate the preserved fish.

By the seventh century, this preservation method entered Japan, where seafood was a dietary staple. But the Japanese did not discard the rice and instead enjoyed the two together. One thousand years later, the rice was elevated with rice wine vinegar, which enabled the sushi to be eaten immediately—instead of waiting for it to ferment.

The idea of sushi continually evolved and became a “fast food staple” in the early 1900s. It wasn’t until after World War II where sushi transformed into a more formal eating experience and the idea of eating it spread around the globe.

SNA Promotion Calendar

Now, sushi restaurants are all over the world and Western influences have created their own styles of rolls—California rolls or even “fusion” creations. You can chow down on the Western Philadelphia Roll (smoked salmon, cream cheese and cucumber) or add some pep with a Spider Roll (battered soft-shell crab with cucumber, avocado, daikon sprouts and spicy mayo). May we suggest the classic Rainbow Roll (crab, avocado, cucumber, tuna, salmon, shrimp and yellowtail)?

So, grab your chopsticks and mark your calendar to celebrate this quintessential Japanese food! (Green wasabi is optional.)

This is just one of many celebrations happening in June and throughout the year. For more notable people, celebrations and ideas for your school nutrition operations, visit www.schoolnutrition.org/PromoCalendar.

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