Why the plastic leafs in Japanese food?

“Tsuma, made from daikon radish, is typically separated from the fish by a leaf known as ooba (now often plastic). Each has a meaning: The tsuma represents Mount Fuji, the leaf represents land, and the fish the ocean.”

The Sushi Economy pg 136

Sounds very unlikely to me. To start with, is it only sushi that has plastic leafs?

Why avocado in American sushi?

“In California in the 1960s, tuna was available only during the summer months… When American diners, who had taken to the fatty appeal of tuna, complained that their favourite fish wasn’t available most of the year, Mashita set out to find an appropriate substitute… It was in the vegetable aisle that he finally found the perfect ingredient: Mexican avocado trees had been transplanted to California a century earlier , and become one of the state’s cash crops”

The Sushi Economy pg 90

Why did two pieces of edo-mae sushi become standard?

“In the late 1940s, Japan faced severe food shortages caused by both wartime devastation and restrictions during the American occupation, including a 1947 law that banned restaurants from operating in public. Members of the Tokyo Sushi Association negotiated a compromise with the municipal government that allowed restaurants to open if they relied on a barter system that reflected the spirit of austerity… Customers would bring in a cup of uncooked rice (and pay a very small sum in cash, described as an “ingredient fee”) in exchange for ten pieces of takeout nigiri. Due to regulations on the Japanese ocean fleet, chefs had to rely on a limited selection of river fish and shellfish, and often did not have enough variety to serve ten different toppings. Instead, they doubled up on what was available and gave diners two pieces of each fish. Sushi associations outside Tokyo… usually turned to Edo-style nigiri in place of other sushi forms that could not be proportioned as easily, helping to spread it as Japan’s prevailing sushi form and its serving sizes”

The Sushi Economy pg 70

Why do airlines give out wet towels?

 According to The Sushi Economy pg 35, the other airlines copied JAL’s use of Japanese oshibori

Why the heavy eye make up? 2nd attempt

As a mask is traditionally worn for six months of the year – three months to protect from colds and three months to protect from hayfever – Japanese eye make up, like that of veil-wearing Arabs, is specifically designed to go with it.

That’s supposed to be a joke, though you never know…

In fact, I still think I was onto something with my first attempt. Japanese make up has never been natural-looking, and in fact obvious artifice and showing how much effort you have put in is part of the culture more generally, as seen in the grunts people make as they exert themselves and in the attitude to nature in Japanese gardens.

More specific to eye make up, many Japanese women seem convinced that they, and Japanese women generally, are somewhat lacking in the eyelash department.

Why is mackerel sushi usually pickled rather than raw?

According to Sushi and Beyond, it was originally because mackerel spoils much quicker than other fish. Nowadays it is probably just because it tastes pretty damn good.

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