Allison Day


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You would think that nowhere in the world would be more dominated by fish-eaters than Japan. After all, Japan is sushi central, right? Surprisingly, that assumption is wrong! According to Fin24.com, red meat is overtaking sushi in popularity. There are several factors contributing to the decline of fish popularity in Japan. For one, the article says this is partially the fault of the younger generation which has embraced many Western things, including the Western-style food. Many of today’s Japanese children dislike the taste of fish, and many Japanese adults who loved the taste of fish as children do not often cook fish as adults. In addition, fish is getting more expensive and red meat is apparently much easier to cook than fish.

I was kind of like this when I was a little girl… I didn’t grow up eating fish (although for a different reason), so I didn’t really like it until a few years ago. Luckily I’m not allergic to fish like my mom is (unfortunately she loves fish, which is why we don’t torture her by making any!) I was definitely a meat and potatoes girl up until a few years ago (Son has forced me to go out and try new things that I never thought I would like) even though I am half Japanese! I know, it’s all very sad… luckily my tastes are changing and broadening… I will now eat fish, more fruits and vegetables, and things that are much spicier than anything I ever would have touched!

What do you think about this? How about my readers in Japan… do you see this trend among your neighbors and friends? Or is this all a bunch of bull? (Okay, so it was a bad attempt at a joke :P ) Although this isn’t exactly worrisome to the rest of the world, do you think this indicates a decline in the Japanese culture? As always, I love to get your comments! :D

Picture courtesy of Wikipedia.

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Comments

  1. Brian says:

    Hmm, I wonder what will happen to sushi chefs. Traditional Japanese sushi chefs are hard to come by in the Western world (I’ve met Korean and Mexican ones before!), and if there’s less of a fish market in Japan… Maybe in 50 years we’ll have gourmet Canadian sushi that people in Japan will pay lots of money for o_O

  2. Josh says:

    Well, I do believe it’s due to western influences, definitely… Then again, Japan does make some of the best beef in the world (kobe beef, that is) :)

  3. Robert-Gilles Martineau says:

    Well, did you know that “gyusashi”, raw beef, is extremely popular as nigiri in Japan?

  4. Allison says:

    Brian – Very good point! I have also seen many non-Japanese sushi chefs at my local sushi bars and restaurants… let’s hope they aren’t an endangered species!

    Josh – I have never had kobe beef, although I would definitely love to try it!

    Robert-Gilles – Very interesting, and good to know! I haven’t tried that either, although I hope to someday!

  5. sheri says:

    Beautiful site Allison. I am using it to comfort my ‘sushi-phobic’ mom! I’m working on a Cajun Sushi for her.
    Sheri

  6. Allison says:

    Thanks so much sheri! Let me know how to Cajun sushi goes… I would love to share your recipe on here if you would allow it! :)

  7. Will says:

    Kobe beef is definitely something I’d like to try after hearing about it. I saw it on television. The cows are massaged, fed quality beer. They live a life of luxury right up until it’s time to go. And it’s supposedly the best tasting beef you’ll ever try.
    Supermarkets are looking to stock it over here (UK), if they haven’t already. Supposed to be quite expensive, but it has to be tried.

  8. Yvo says:

    To Will – re: Kobe beef; it’s a bit of a phenomenon here and honestly I don’t really get the hoopla. IE, some *cough stupid cough* restaurants offer a Kobe burger (which is, I hope, scraps…) for $60. The thing is, you can take any cut of meat and if you know what you’re doing, you can make it taste phenomenal without paying through the nose. I sound bitter I guess but I’m just not that impressed by it. I haven’t had a whole Kobe steak but I have had Kobe beef.

    Also, point to note, wagyu is technically Kobe-style. As in, much like “you can’t call it champagne unless it’s actually from Champagne, France” – you aren’t suppsoed to call it Kobe unless it’s from Kobe, Japan. So some “genius” farmers in the States started to raise the same breed of cows (I think- it’s on Wiki, read this a while back) and treat them the same way (massages, high quality feed/beer/whatever they’re eating, and classical music), and then sell the meat for a higher price point. Some restaurants, I’ve seen, have sold it as Kobe, but other restaurants will tell you it’s Wagyu (which prompted me to Google Wagyu to find out what it was…). Just thought it was something you may want to look out for.

    I’ve had wagyu sashimi before and while it’s soft, tender and interesting, I don’t think it’s necessarily something that will be taking off- if ever, not for a while- in the US. There’s too much stigmatism related to raw meat, please don’t get me started on beef tartare and how I don’t understand this dish at all (I enjoy it, but it’s basically a raw hamburger. With a raw egg in it. How does that even…? I just don’t understand who came up with it and how they convinced Americans, whom I consider some of the pickiest eaters in the world, to eat it…)

    Sorry, I’m kind of ranting here. Great post, Allison.

  9. Allison says:

    Will – A life of luxury! Haha those cows live better than I do! Of course, I’m not slaughtered to be eaten at the end of my life… :P Yeah, I definitely would like to try it, if only once!

    Yvo – Interesting… I don’t think you’ll find me spending $60 on a burger, even if it is a Kobe burger! I have never heard of wagyu, thanks for mentioning it! I think I would like to try wagyu or kobe sashimi sometime, although I am a little picky and I’m not sure if I could bring myself to eat raw beef. I’m sure Son would jump at the opportunity though! I don’t mind your rants/long comments… I actually appreciate them, because they are always very informational and interesting! :D

  10. Audrey says:

    :D LOL My mom and i love fish and sea food, esp fish. My sister and my dad however hate seafood, esp fish! Oh well i think all smaller children dont like fish becasue i remember not being to keen on eating fish when i was little and my brother wasnt either but he loves fish now that hes older. Haahaahaa. Plus i think it really depends on the parents.

  11. Sheila S says:

    Do you think that beef is considered a more sustainable protien that people are starting to gravitate towards that type of thinking and therefore eating? Eating fish now is getting to have the same stigma as wearing fur in some cases.

  12. Keywords for a Name says:

    Spending summer’s in upstate New York while growing up there was a dairy farm right down the street from our property where we used to buy raw milk. It wasn’t organic, but I remember the cows grazing on the farmland grass. Back then, it was very cheap and delicious. We stopped buying it because my mother had read about how raw milk was really bad for you and was unsafe for us to drink.

    I recently started buying organic milk as there are no nearby local sources, here where I live in New York, unless I want to drive more than an hour to the one source I did find
    I’m still hopeful that I’ll find a good quality source in the near future.

    Great informational post. Thanks!

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