A brief history of sushi

For more than 1500 years, fishing and rice cropping have been two of the main activities in Asia. In response to the fish product conservation problems, people started to use salt and rice and they put fish between fermented rice layers.

The origins of the sushi

With this process, lactic acid is formed to stop fish deterioration. With this process, fish products could be consumed months after the fishing, contrary to the rice, which was thrown away. This waste of rice stopped in the 7th century, as the Japanese started eating the cereal too. The sushi is known as a Japanese invention because China completely stopped using this this process during the same century. In the 15th century, the inhabitants of Edo (Tokyo’s former name) started using rice vinegar to speed up the fermentation process.

 

From the sushi to the restaurant

The sushi as we know it today was created in 1824 by Hanaya Yohei, an Edo’s street vendor. He wanted to make sushis that could be eaten quickly, just as a “fast food” meal. He shaped sushis manually with vinegared rice and added fresh fish. It was a success in the capital city as well as all over Japan. In the aftermath of the Second World War, sushi restaurants boomed and quickly replaced street vendors.

Since then, sushis made their way through western cultures. Today, the sushi is a healthier alternative to the usual fast food restaurants.