Read More Tips and Trivia
It seems it all started back in the 1960s when California (specifically Los Angeles) became the major portal for sushi chefs coming to America to make their “American Dream” fortune through the country’s hungry restaurant community.Because the American visual appetite did not like seeing (or chewing) on the nori (edible seaweed) typically found on the outside of traditional Japanese sushi, the chefs quickly adapted and made a type of “inside-out” roll with the nori no longer being on the outside but still incorporating the highly desirable white, short-grained Japanese rice.This adaption quickly became known as the California Roll and can be attributed single-handedly as the major factor in the growing popularity of sushi that ensured, and continues to this day.Once the California Roll became a mainstay, sushi chefs were free to introduce western palates to more exotic options that often included the raw fish option of sashimi.Still, it seemed that the “roll was king” and blossomed into an arena of its own with offerings like the following (now common on most, if not all, American sushi menus):
- Dynamite Roll which includes yellowtail tuna and/or prawn tempura and fillings like bean sprouts, carrots, avocado, cucumber, chili and spcicy mayonnaise.
- Spider Roll which consists of fried soft shell crab and other fillings as mentioned above as well as daikon sprouts and roe.
- Philadelphia Roll which includes raw or smoked salmon, softened cream cheese (usually the Philadelphia brand hence, the name), cucumber (or avocado) and possibly onion.
There are many other rolls, of course, with many regions and restaurants applying their own names to them as a form of unique identity; but the premise remains the same as that dating back to the 60s when eager and creative chefs presented their first inventive offering: the California Roll.