Happy International Sushi Day!

Here’s something not many people might have known: Wednesday, June 18, is the official day to celebrate sushi. Many people are fans of consuming sushi and were very excited to hear there was a day dedicated to the traditional Japanese cuisine. Twitterati, specifically, helped spread the word by making “International Sushi Day” a trending topic on the 140-character social media site.

To celebrate, some fun tid-bits about sushi have been provided below, courtesy of SushiFaq.com and Sushi Sushi:

--Sushi has apparently been around since the second century A.D. It started as a way to preserve fish in China and eventually made its way to Japan. The fish was placed in rice and allowed to ferment and then the rice was thrown away. Nowadays, the rice is usually one of the most important parts of the role and the fresher the fish the better. This method of eating raw fish and rice started in the early 17th century. The rice was seasoned with rice wine vinegar, which allowed for the sushi to be eaten right away, instead of consumers having to wait months for it to be prepared.

--The highest price ever paid for a sushi grade Bluefin Tuna was $1.76 million in January 2013. Some high prices paid prior to that came after a 754 pound fish sold for $396,000 ($526/lb) in 2011 at the Tsukiji Fish Market in Tokyo. Another expensive sushi grade Bluefin Tuna earned $173,600 for a 444 pound fish ($391/lb) on January 5th, 2001.

--Nearly 80-percent of the world’s Bluefin tuna caught is used for sushi.

--Half of the fish eaten in tuna was raised on fish farms, as opposed to being caught in the wild.

--With the exception of tuna, the United States Food and Drug Administration requires all fish must be frozen first (to kill parasites) before it can be eaten raw.

--The word “sushi” actually means to the rice seasoned with vinegar, sugar, salt. “Sushi” does not mean raw fish.

--Raw fish sliced and served alone (without rice) is called sashimi.

--Japanese traditionally eat miso soup at the end of the meal to aid in digestion.

--Even though most people in the U.S. use chopsticks to eat sushi, it’s traditionally eaten with the fingers.

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