Michael Erin, Vice President of Development for The Economic Club of Las Vegas, has traveled to many countries throughout the world, his favorite place to visit being Hong Kong, China. China is also where Michael Erin’s favorite food, sushi, originates, although the modern form of sushi that is popular in the west today originates from Japan.
The types of sushi that are popular today, both in Asia and America, include makizushi, which translates to “rolled sushi” and generally comes in five different kinds of rolls: hosomaki, or “thin roll,” chumaki, or “medium roll,” futomaki, or “thick roll,” uramaki, or “inside-out roll,” and temaki, or “hand roll.” Nigirizushi, or “hand-pressed sushi,” is also a popular choice in American restaurants, and consists of a rectangle of rice with a topping, usually a seafood like salmon or tuna. Also available, but less common, are chirashizushi, or “scattered sushi,” inarizushi (a pouch of fried tofu), and oshizushi or “pressed sushi.”
Though not commonly observed in America, there are some etiquette guidelines for the proper eating of sushi. Nigiri or maki sushi should be consumed following an appetizer of sashimi, which is a small serving of plain, raw fish with no rice or other ingredients. Nigiri sushi is meant to be eaten by hand and picked up by the rice rectangle so that the meat faces downward; the meat should then be dipped in the corner of a soy sauce dish, after which the piece of sushi should be eaten in a single bite – if this is not possible, it may be eaten in two halves, keeping the second half in hand before eating it, as putting food back on one’s plate is considered insulting to the chef.
Maki rolls may also be eaten either by hand or using chopsticks, and should also be dipped in the corner of the soy sauce dish and eaten in one bite. After each piece, one should consume a piece of ginger and then sip one’s drink. Additionally, leaving rice behind on one’s plate after a meal of sushi is considered bad manners, though sometimes it cannot be helped.