INTERVIEW: FOOD 6
Theinterview aims to profile a representative of larger cultural trendsin regard to Sushi food. I am a Chinese guy and the interview isdedicated to food of Japan. My interviewee is Mr Lee who has beenaffected in both negative and positive way in regard to Sushi foodfrom a global perspective.
Howhave you been influenced by Japanese culture on the food that youtake?
Japanhas a rich culture in growing of rice. As a result, this is ourstaple food. In essence, most us consume sushi which is a mixture ofvinegared rice with some ingredients. When is was young, may parentsconsidered this type of food and it has been incorporated in ourculture from the time immemorial. Our culture of pickled gingerintake has influenced the way we consider different types of Sushi.
Howhas sushi food influenced you in a positive way?
Sushifood has influenced me in a way that I have come to accept diversityof different cultures and the food they take. Sushi has shaped my wayof life in that I can assist my family members in cooking. In fact,since I have a course in hospitality industry, knowing how to makesushi can enable me to be competitive in the market place. This willmake me to stand out and execute more in the field place.
Whathas the choice of your food affected your overall perspective aboutfood
Thechoice of food has enhanced my perception about food. I have beeninfluenced so much by the food that I take in regard to the nutrientlevels of my body and dietary plan. Sushi is a type of food that Iinclude in my dietary plan every week.
Fromyour perspective, do you think people make mistakes on their sushifood intake?
Yes,many people do make mistakes. Very few take into consideration thebasic techniques applicable. Many people usually over-season it.Better still, they wait too long to eat each piece of sushi nigiri.Each of the hand roll should be enjoyed each time when served in thatthe texture is not disrupted by the changing temperature.I have realized hat many people take the hand roll on a wooden plateand make the nori to lose its crispness as a result of wood moisture.
Whatis the sophistication of you taking sushi when you are out of Japan?
Thesushi dinners in other parts of the world are more sophisticatednowadays than they were 20 years ago. The sushi chefs are trustedmore and are educated more. As a matter of fact, they don’t dip thesoy sauce often. I realized this when I went to America 3 years ago.
Doyou think that sushi can be fused with other types of food?
Tocreate an intriguing fusion menu, we can introduce fusion of newdishes. This requires a lot of innovation to serve delicaciesaccepted worldwide
Whatare some of the American favorites that you cannot be found in Japanfrom your visit to U.S?
Thereare various dishes of Sushi that cannot be seen in Japan such as Loxand Bagel New York style. Fresh salmon is topped with charred tomatoseasoned with minced with a toast of white onion. The torotartareis never mixed with pickled daikon. The market of sushi is quiteencouraging since the Americans have embraced the Japanese foodculture. For instance, the Americans love the chopped barbecued eelwith avocado and tempura crunch which is hard to find in Japan.Nevertheless, the sushi staff has been using the avocados latelyinfluenced by the American culture of sushi.
Haveyou ever made omakase offering?
Ofcourse, in fact, the first thing to do is to have a thoughtfulsequential progression of all sushi pieces. I put 12 pieces alltogether but also make extra requests. I make omakase to progressfrom sushi served at a temperature chilled to a temperature that iswarmer from a refreshing, citrusy to rich, light and refreshing andthus, I love to progress from the crispy texture. Omakase is tailoredto the preference of an individual
Doyou think that fish topping can be done? Why or why not?
Yes,the topping can be done. I can attest to this since I have since mymother cooking this type of food for a long time. I have realizedthat there are two basic reasons: to vary the flavor and control theseasoning. For example, when we dine in other countries, even withtastiest menu, it can be complex to eat more than eight. But when itcomes to Sushi, more than 20 different courses can be enjoyed in formof hand rolls and nigiri sushi. Thus, topping adds diverse flavors.In fact, topping gives the chef a prerequisite to encourage diners toeat and season the sushi as it is presented rather than over dippingin the soya source. Also, one should not over board in topping, oneneed to taste clean, best flavor for each of the fish
Haveyou ever prepared sushi? And if you have ever, how does sushi impactyour family?
Yes,I have ever prepared sushi since I have a simple menu from our familysetup. The rice is the most important ingredient since the styletotally unique to every sushi chef even though people use seasonedvinegar rice unique to each chef. Each of the sushi chef has a recipebased on the temperature used to cook and later serve rice, aroma andseasoning they create in regard to the amount vinegar. This type offood has been the most loved by my family members. When we eat thistype of food, we are absolutely united. So sushi food is our unitingfactor
Canyou encourage other people to take sushi?
Iwould encourage people to take Sushi. It is a delicious food that canbe eaten by people of different diversities. It is evident thatanyone from a different culture beside my Japanese culture can eatand also prepare it
Haveyou ever used chopsticks?
Yes,I have used chopsticks before. From the time immemorial, Chopstickswere first invented in China more than 5,000 years ago. They wereconsidered an extension of the fingers which were resistant toextreme cold and heat. The sticks are made from unfinished wood. Theyhave a blunt end with a rectangular shape. The Chinese chopsticks arelonger than Japanese models. In our Japanese tradition, we do usechopsticks and they have various models for different purposesinclusive of eating certain meals, during funerals, cooking andpicking suits. More precisely, in my house, I use chopstick made frombones, iron and metal for special events. They are rounded at the endand shorter than the Chinese models. They are also intricatelydesigned and colorful.
Reynolds,B. (2013). SqueamishAbout Sushi: Food Adventures in Japan.Tuttle Publishing.