The California roll is the name of one type of sushi that is widely available, but it was not created in Japan, it was actually created in California – hence the name. It is also the first sushi roll to have the rice on the outside of the roll instead of the seaweed. How did this happen?
Los Angeles, California was the entry point for the Japanese people and their culture to the United States in the 1960s. With it came the food, the chefs, and the first sushi restaurant named the Tokyo Kaikan. However, the toro or fatty tuna that the Japanese-Americans were used to in their sushi was not always available. It was because of this that chef Ichiro Mashita started to experiment.
At first he tried other types of meat, but they were rejected until he eventually tried avocados with crabmeat. He found that the avocado had the same fatty texture as the tuna and the crab offered the seafood element that’s usually found in sushi. At high-end restaurants real crabmeat is used, but more often it is the imitation crab.
The problem was the non-Japanese customers were not used to and did not like the nori seaweed on the outside, thus the inside-out roll was born. The rice was rolled on the outside of the seaweed instead of on the inside and mayo and cucumber were added to the inside of the roll. This was the original California roll, but it has evolved and now has many variations, both on the inside and out.
From California the popularity spread across the United States and helped to ease North Americans into the more exotic types of sushi available in the Japanese culture, and the California roll has now made its way back to Japan.
Maple Sushi has a wide variety of sushi for all tastes. Enjoy dining in the comfortable atmosphere or order take-out to have at home. Visit the website at www.maplesushi.com to view the full menu.