Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Sushi for every occasion, sushi for every caucasian

Tonight I travelled down the delightful road of allowing my palette the delight of sushi. I truly love sushi. I have had lots of good sushi. You know, where the rice sticks the perfect amount to the fish so that you can dip the roll into the soy sauce without it falling apart. And I have had incredibly bad sushi where the rice is so sticky that when I put it in my mouth it's like someone is making a rice mold out of every tiny hole, dent, and wrinkle in my mouth. I have been to very friendly sushi places, where they serve wonderful appropriate drinks, my favorite being Milk Boba Tea, and I have been to some odd sushi joints where the sign outside read "no tank tops". Either way, I am in love with with sushi.

Not surprisingly, so is the large majority of America. We are loving the tuna, the salmon, and the lobster, layered with cucumbers, cream cheese, apple slices, fried shrimp, mangos, avocados...the list goes on. Yes, it can seem like a random pairing to the untrained mouth, but anyone who has been to sushi more than twice begins to develop a sense of adventure for these outlandish pairings. On top of that, the health of these rolls on a wooden plate is a bonus. It's all raw, one of many new fad diets, and the amount of carbs can quickly be replaced with brown rice, seaweed wraps and even soy wraps. They are appealing for the exotic nature of the roll; it represents everything that American food does not. Its guilt free, yet full of an adventurous style of dining.

However, tonight as I was drinking my Boba tea in record time, and trying my best to be patient for the soy dish to be placed in front of me (because that means the rolls will soon be on their way), I could not help but think about this wonderful food option that has become a big part of an American fad, health conscious, and often exotic experience. I say that with a bit of disdain, because the more I think of things we incorporate into our culture, the more I am sad about what people may incorporate from ours, into theirs.

Now, let me first say that I have not been to more than 2 other countries. Yes, that is right. I have been to Mexico once and the Dominican Republic once. Two stamps on my passport, which I lost after I got them. Opps. I was only 17. So, I will be the first to say that I need to travel more, I need to add some stamps to that passport, and a bit of perspective and appreciation for our culture. But until then, please help me understand:

In other countries, do people visit McDonalds or In-N-Out as fad eating choices? Or is all that we contribute our pop stars and synthesized music?

Call me jaded. A cynic. I am not an America hater, just want to better understand what and how we contribute.

My fear is that we consume other cultures as a weekly flavor, and we switch religions, diets, clothing, and language to appreciate other cultures, but is all we do is what we do with our pop stars? Do we consume, watch, decorate, and play house with them incorporating them into our lives for a short season and then like the Britney have we chased the beauty but destroyed the girl? Our sushi fad soon leaves us sick of the food, and is it then a downward spiral of the culture and the people? Or worse, is our understanding of such places wrapped up in seaweed with the choice of reduced-sodium soy sauce on the side?


Kristina P. said...

I was just having a conversation with my friend about sushi. I must be the only person on the planet who doesn't like it. I've tried it numerous times, and just can't do it.

But, I LOVE seafood. Maybe I need to try again.

Heather of the EO said...

okay, wait a second. You've been posting stuff? I'm so annoyed. I thought I had you in my google reader thingy, but I guess that was my blogroll--so I've missed all these posts, I have so much catching up to do! ack!
I was thinking, why hasn't she posted anything for so long? And you have! oops.
I will catch up soonly! :)

Heather of the EO said...

wait. I hope that made sense. I meant that I screwed up, not you. I hope it made sense :)

I'm putting you in my reader now, so I won't be so clueless...