The Ancient Origins of Sushi

Sushi is one of the world’s most popular foods, eaten in countries throughout the globe. While the sushi that we find today undoubtedly was first made popular in Japan before spreading across the rest of the world, it has a long and rich history that has long been intertwined with Japanese culture and cuisine.

The origins of Sushi are somewhat clouded in mystery, but there is enough of a record that historians have been able to build a general idea of how it first started and why it was such a favourite among the people at the time and continues to be. Here we will look at the origins of sushi and how the dish was first enjoyed in Japan.

How Sushi Was Founded

Although sushi is almost always associated with japan, historians believe that it didn’t actually originate within the country, instead being adopted through trade. It’s believed that it truly began with the process of pickling fish, which was necessary during a time when there were few other reliable methods of making food last for as long as possible.

Fish has always been a vital source of food for many cultures around the world, and the people of Southeast Asia – where pickled fish originated – would have gone to great lengths to preserve their food sources for long periods of time. Much like today’s pasta’s origins, historians think that the ancient Chinese were responsible for the first cases of pickled fish, and that trade between the regions allowed their inventions and discoveries to be widely adopted by other cultures.

Arrival in Japan

It’s understood that pickled fish first made its way into Japan from the Chinese mainland at some point in the Nara era, a fact that has been confirmed thanks to the many records that were left behind by the people at the time.

There are also records of a similar dish having been created in Japan before the important of pickled fish from China, but there isn’t enough evidence to say whether the two were closely related, or if the two methods of pickling fish were independent.

How The Fish Became Sushi

While the original idea was to create something that could last long periods of time, it didn’t take long for Japanese chefs to start adapting the pickled fish into recipes; ultimately moving away from preservation and focussing instead on making entirely new dishes with the fish.

An example of this is a record of the fish being removed earlier from the fermentation process than what was traditional at the time, and the fish would then be served alongside rice and other ingredients.

For all intents and purposes, this marked the true beginning of sushi as we know it today, and a long line of tradition that has maintained its pertinence many centuries later, similar to how early version of games like blackjack have evolved into the online blackjack NZ now offers.

The overall diet of the Japanese began to change, and the introduction of vinegar into dishes was another important part of sushi’s evolution. more ingredients were added, including an increase to the amount of rice, and before long chefs began to produce dishes that were similar in many ways to the sushi that we enjoy in modern times.