Have you ever been confronted with a platter of sushi and the only familiar ingredient was the rice? And the menu’s Japanese translation to English read like a lab science manual? It’s easy to feel like a novice at a sushi bar, where there always is another diner holding court over the finer distinctions between fish roes, salmon skin, and eel innards. As much as I like sushi, I don’t want to risk anyone slipping shrimp or fish liver onto my plate, but at the same time I hate to appear ever so ignorant. And there’s the matter of pretending that you already had kanimiso for lunch or you know the difference between futomaki and onigiri.
Sushi has taken over Mexico like a storm. It first hit Morelia about fifteen years ago, when Mikono opened its doors. The hometown sushi café, which even delivers on motos, has eight branches in its own town, and ones in San Angel, D.F., and Moroleon, Guanajuato. For $42,400 USD ($480,300 M.N.), you can open your own franchise.
In Morelia, all social gatherings of any consequence will have some kind of sushi. But there’s one hitch: Mexican sushi seems to always claim queso Filadelfia as an essential ingredient.
And not only Mexico has been consumed by sushi fever. Trevor Carlson’s new book “The Zen of Fish: The Story of Sushi, From Samurai to Supermaket” and Sasha Issenberg’s “The Sushi Economy: Globalization and the Making of a Modern Delicacy” were both reviewed in The New York Times Sunday Book Review.
A growing shortage of bluefin tuna in Japan has sushi chefs recalling the times when they had no choice but to substitute venison or horsemeat and experiments with smoked duck with mayonnaise. I hope they never find out about queso Filadelfia.