In 2008, I was very exited when my American friend told me that we would go
to a sushi restaurant. I had just moved to the U.S. from Japan weeks before, and I
missed Japanese food very much. However, when we got a table at the sushi place and
opened the menu, I was confused. There was no “sushi” as I know it.
In Japan, sushi more closely resembles nigiri, an oblong mound of sushi rice that
the chef forms with his/her hands, and a topping draped over it. Toppings are typically
fish such as salmon, tuna, or other seafood. In the American restaurant, they only had
what we call maki-zushi, which is roll sushi. In Japan, maki-zushi is considered finger
food for family events or get-togethers.
Despite my confusion, I tried a California roll and caterpillar roll at the sushi place.
The first bite was weird because it contained cream cheese and avocados, which I have never eaten as sushi ingredients. Unlike Japanese sushi, American sushi has a strong and clear taste. Yet, after eating, I realized that I liked both rolls. It was tasty, and I enjoyed it as American food. Many cultures have adapted different types of food in their history.
Since that experience, I have had many different sushi rolls, and I like most of
them. Also, I have been introducing Japanese nigiri and maki-zushi to my American
friends. At times I have brought maki-zushi to a house party, and at other times we
went to a Japanese restaurant where nigiri is on the menu. At first, my friends were
nervous to try nigiri, but now I think they have learned to appreciate the different flavors.
My friends and I enjoy both Japanese and American sushi, and I feel these cultural
interactions have enriched our society.