Wednesday, December 1, 2010


I prefer Westernized (some would call them "abortions") versions of sushi to the traditional Japanesey kind. Give me a Philadelphia roll - salmon and cream cheese - over sea urchin or raw squid any day. The more deep fried crap, dairy and mayonnaise, the better. A lot of people think sushi is health food, but it's really not when you break it down (Sashimi, the immaculate pure protein, is excepted from this rule). Maki (roll) or nigiri (sitting on top of rice) sushi is really just a little carb bomb that you soak in pure sodium, and since they're bite-sized it's plenty easy to eat them by the truckload. With that in mind, we should strive to make sushi as decadent and fattening as humanly possible.

At my old Vassar haunt, Sushi Village
in Poughkeepsie NY, they had this one memorable sushi roll that my then-boyfriend Mike really loved. He was a cross country runner so he could eat whatever the heck he wanted. This roll was called the "Poughkeepsie Roll" and if I recall correctly it consisted of salmon, jalapeno pepper, fried onion straws, BBQ sauce, and cheese, all slapped on top of a sizeable hunk of rice. The Poughkeepsie Roll was $12.00 or something and each piece (there were six pieces) took at least 2-3 bites to wolf down. Even highly experienced binge eaters such as myself and Mike could hardly handle its rich greasy goodness. That's what sushi should be all about.

Another pointless anecdote...I recall fondly speaking with a Korean exchange student who visited Japan about conveyor belt sushi. The Koreans weren't big on Japanese food because of its relative lack of zazz as compared to Korean cuisine; however teenage boys will be teenage boys, and they got a little competitive when they went to a conveyor belt sushi restaurant in Osaka. Apparently the winner ate 25 plates (2 pieces per plate - 50 pieces of sushi). That's the spirit, fellas.

What am I trying to say? Well, for one thing I've arranged to meet a friend in Karlsruhe during my Germany trip for the near-sole purpose of chowing down on beautiful Westernized inside-out sushi rolls, hopefully containing cream cheese. I am irrationally excited about it - people ask "why would you go to Germany to eat Japanese food?" - but honestly the only German food that holds any interest is spaetzle and currywurst. Speaking to the "bigger" picture, I'm quite excited to move back home. Ironically, the "Japanese" food is often better there.


  1. The last thing I expected when I got on that plane in Newark is that Bangor, Maine would not only have better access to sushi than Japan, but that it would taste better.

    There's a lot to be said for sashimi, but none of those sayings would be "it's better than a Philadelphia Roll."

  2. I'm glad you agree and aren't a green-tea-and-onsens purist. Sushi just makes more sense when you mix unlikely flavor-events together and make a party.


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