Raw seafood is a timeless delicacy that allures anyone with its rawness—even putting multicultural diversity on its knees because of its mouthwatering flavors.
During ancient times, feudal lords demanded their fish served as fresh as possible. Because of distance and transportation limitations, fish had to be carried through various runners and had to travel for hours before arriving at its destination. This tedious process causes the fish to lose its freshness. To combat such dilemma, cooks have experimented with various techniques. Thus, resulting to the creation of one of the most common raw seafood we know today: sushi—a type of fermented fish (or meat) prepared with rice for the purpose of preservation and can be consumed without too much processing.
Contrary to popular belief, sushi did not originate from Japan. Historians believe that the very first written record of the existence of sushi started with China’s Tang Dynasty (618–907 CE) where people with only good economic status could eat raw fish and meat along with raw fruits and vegetables. Sushi only appeared in Japan in the Heian Period (794–1185 CE) right after raw fish had officially become a delicacy in China.
Today, hundreds of restaurants, stalls and buffets offer raw seafood as part of their menu. But as the food scene matures and experiences different trends that come and go, consumers have grown from romanticizing what is pleasurable to one’s palette to emphasizing the unobtrusive: is it safe to eat?
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April - May 2018