Three quarters of the Japanese archipelago occupied the mountains. Therefore, all the plains of its rational residents preferred to give rise to rice. This is understandable – after all, from a unit of territory allocated for rice checks, you can get food calories in tens of times more than from meat of pets, if you take the land under pastures. Therefore, society made a completely right choice: planting a grain culture that gives the greatest harvest. In the VII century, he was about 6 centners from hectares (in medieval Europe, wheat was collected only 2-3 centners), and now the average harvest is ten times more.
I must say that another 100 years ago rice for Japan was not only food, but also by the measure of welfare. It was believed that 150 kilograms need an adult per year, so an increase or decrease in this standard could serve as an indicator of living standards.
Today, due to the difference in the cost of labor, the price of Japanese rice is much higher than in other Asian countries. It would seem, reflecting the host, Japanese rice fields should be destroyed, and in their place to build high-tech production, and cheaper grain purchasing in some other place, for example, in Thailand or Vietnam. But the Japanese state prefers to subscribe to local rice, because residents of the country consider it the most delicious in the world.
As for animal husbandry, the attitude to the cattle was absolutely opposite. Traditionally, in Japan, cows practically did not bred, even chickens and it was a bit. Only horses were bred, the population of which increased during the days of internal internecine wars, but as soon as peace times came, the number of animals fell again. After all, the Japanese peasant did everything manually: he picked the earth, and did not smell on the horse. And carrying cargo engaged in himself. From here it is quite clear that the hardworking of even the current Japanese is not empty words, but the national quality.
In addition, when filling out the product basket, the focus was always made by the difty of the sea, which favored the natural conditions of the archipelago surrounded by shallow water. Since in the region of the World Ocean, warm and cold flows are faced, then Plankton always matures here excellently. And he is – there is a fish. In coastal waters and today there are 3492 species of fish, mollusks and marine animals. For comparison: on "Sea Nive" Europe – in the Mediterranean Sea – only 1322 varieties, a little more at the western coast of North America – 1744.
Owning such wealth, the Japanese are guaranteed to be protected from hunger. Rice and fish can be contacted a large number of people.
Holiday taste and colors
You can evaluate the traditional fish diversity of the Japanese table on the preserved documents of the XII century: sauce prepared From a slightly flicker fish, sake, vinegar, salt, rice, small raw (but with the addition of vinegar) Sea pike perch and perch, carp in soy paste, roast of sea perch, vegetable stew, fish on a spit, seashell soup, roasted octopus, Movered in sake of jellyfish with vinegar and pickled ginger, trepanga, clams with soy paste, chicken kebab, water and fruit. As we see, of all this gastronomic splendor only chicken refers to the category "meat" and only because the table covers on a special occasion.
In addition, an important condition for organizing the holiday was the table setting. Especially for the pleasure of Japanese aristocrats invented the so-called "Dishes for eye", who were inedible, but in appetizing. Here, for example, located on the dish carp carp. In fact, it is just the skin and the head of the newly broken fish. Inside – emptiness there is nothing. But if from time to time to pour into the mouth of Karp Sake, he started to move his mouth. The spectacle in the opinion of the Europeans is low-reaching, but do not argue about tastes. The Japanese is extremely unpleasant to see the blood of the animal, however, the seemingly separated in your eyes of a lively, pepping fish they treat perfectly calmly.
This is, no doubt, will deliver aesthetic pleasure to everyone without exception, so it is decorations cut from a variety of vegetables in the form, for example, chrysanthemums or Sakura flowers. Moreover, the thematic selection and color schemes necessarily emphasize the time of the year, which helps to create a good mood in erats. Therefore, the art of decoration of the table is valued in Japan at least than directly culinary.
Vasabi, or Japanese horseradish, is a seasoning, widely used in Japanese cuisine. It is made from the root of the same name plant of the family of cruciferous. Stems and flowers Vasabi are also used. For example, they enter the tempura recipe (vegetables in the batter). Real Natural Wasabi, or Honvasabi, is a rare plant, and therefore very expensive. Now he was learned to cultivate at home, but, as experts say, it is inferior to Khrenu, which grew up in mountain runoff. In addition to the unusual taste, Honvasabi has strong antimicrobial properties, which is more than useful in combination with raw fish.
Union of fish and rice
Of course, the Japanese were known many agricultural crops, and at times they had the opportunity to diversify the menu meat, but still rice and fish always constituted the basis of their food diet. Regular, from generation to generation, the use of these products served as one of the most important reasons why life expectancy in the current Japan is the highest in the world. How long can the country be able to keep long-life leadership – a big question. The current Japanese consumes more and more meat, animal oil, carbohydrates. And if only a few decades ago, it was impossible to meet the fat man on their streets, now obesity becomes a problem and here. In the same way as cardiovascular diseases, which were not even suspected of.
Conversely, the inhabitants of Western countries began to actively switch to Japanese "diet". Cooked from rice and fish dish called sushi (in Russian, more known as sushi) turned out to be in demand not only in the most Japan itself, it was the main subject of overseas "Gastronomic expansion" Japanese this time. All over the world, they appreciated the benefits of such food: no milligrame of oil, a complete set of vitamins and trace elements, which are contained in the cheese of the product. And this is despite the warnings that have recently appeared in the press, about the content in these delicacies of dangerous bacteria and larvae of animal parasites. For example, the ancient bacteria stenotrophomonos that may affect sea animals, and after them and the person who has eaten them, cause different gastrointestinal diseases. For Asians such cautions are somewhat unnecessary: for the centuries-old history of consuming raw products, their organisms were adapted to these bacteria. Another danger represent helminths (worms), which, falling into our organism with raw fish, can cause symptoms for manifestations similar to other diseases. A person can be treated for years from allergic or chronic fatigue syndrome and not even suspect what the true cause of his ailment. True, when freezing or heat treatment, parasites die, but in this case the food, according to gourmets, loses its authenticity. In addition, raw fish may contain heavy metals and other no less harmful chemicals and connections. Not so long ago in America, the scandal broke out after publishing materials of journalistic investigation of the quality of raw fish used in some Los Angeles Japanese restaurants. In the six establishments in Tuna, an invalid mercury content was discovered, which many times exceeded the maximum indicator set by Food and Drug Administration and Environmental Protection Agency. This metal negatively affects the nervous system and is especially dangerous for children and pregnant women.
Environmentalists confirm that many of its inhabitants suffer from pollution from the world ocean, especially fish without scales (for example, shark or sword), as it is deprived of this natural barrier, or fish that are taken to catch when they reach a certain weight as the same The most notorious tuna. And these factors no longer have a national nature, Asians are not protected in the same way, as any other person. But most importantly, not all seafood takes place serious sanitary control, which increases the degree of risk.
Therefore, before pamping yourself with Japanese delights, you should make sure that the establishment in which you are going to have a good reputation and guarantees quality. In such restaurants, dishes are mainly made from chilled or thermally processed products, and if from fresh, then grown on the nearest fish farms. By the way, when growing fish in artificial water bodies, one can be almost confident that it is not infected with helminths and does not contain "Table Mendeleev". And although staying in such restaurants will no longer, the health is worth.
For the Japanese, fish is not only food or stuffing for sushi, it’s also a matter of worship. So that these two mutually exclusive traditions lead to consent, at certain days, they looked at the will with prayers, that is, in water already caught fish. For residents of the country of the rising sun, carp personifies persistence and courage. Probably because it behaves in a cutting board quietly and worthy. According to the legends of the carp, can deftly swim against the current and overcome the thresholds, and coming to the sources of the mountain river, it turns into an almighty dragon. Carp is also a symbol "Holiday boys" (some kind of initiation), celebrated on May 5. On this day, they raise the houses on the poles of plants or paper coils with the image of Karp. The higher the snakes, the higher the high position is destined to achieve a boy. In addition, the Japanese name of the carp – koi – lessonimically "love". And therefore carp symbolizes more men’s strength. Dried gommer fish, whose name is ionymically phrase "Imperial health", hung in the bedroom of the See-header as an overlap. The shrimp, of course, is not a fish, but it is also considered a symbol of longevity, as the elder resembles his kind. And old age is perceived in the East not only as evidence of the mortality of life, but also as a symbol of its natural completion.
The prototype of the current sushi served ordinary rice kilobs, in which a little sweetened vinegar was added. They did not spoil for a long time, and therefore they could be safely taken on the road. However, the Japanese – the people settled, they spent not much time in the way. And the dish of long-term storage to them, in principle, do not need. Freshly prepared rice, and even with fish turned out to be much more tastier.
But the fish for sushi in Japan longly harvested. For this, it was solished and three months were placed under the oppression. She acquired a very specific smell and taste, and such a dish was unlikely to come to taste to foreigners. It would have remained a culinary exotic, which could be decided to try far from anyone if there were no sushi with raw fish, radically different to taste.
In addition to fish as a filling can be used by caviar, other marine edible animals, vegetables or their combination. It all depends on the fantasy of the cook. For example, NiGirizusi. It includes: seafood (raw fish, shrimp, squid, mollusks, seabed caviar and t. D.), dried algae and coated on a couple rice. On a slightly elongated rice bun (Japonica sticky grade) a little mustard Wasabi is put on, over – a piece of raw seafood. Depending on the composition and size, this construction can be treated with dried algae ribbon. If such a winding is present, that is, the bun can "dry". When the algae is not provided for the recipe, then before sending a kolobok in the mouth, its top needs to be hushed into soy sauce. There are also I "round" Sushi, when seafood (or vegetable, for example, cucumber) hide in the middle of a cylindrical rice stick, wrapped by algae. These rolls are also well-known Japanese cuisine lovers.
I must say that in the current Japan, Sousi rarely prepare at home. They turned into a restaurant dish. In recent years, gained great popularity "Torch" Sushi (Kaitean Sousi). In some institutions, the tape of the conveyor is moving to clients, on which there are plates with a pre-prepared product. Each type of sushi corresponds to its design saucer. Sing and go to the checkout "To dust", Recaling the plates, the cashier knocks the check. Of course, it is possible to eat here faster than in a traditional institution, but you will not feel the corresponding atmosphere.
As in the whole world, the service is very popular "Sustia at home". Performers deliver them and on the phone call.
Sust, naturally, you should drink. Many of the current Japanese prefer cold beer, which they began to boil under the European influence only in the second half of the XIX century. However, the real gourmet will still prefer the warm rice wine – sake. Usually, Russian people relate to him with some disregard. Although the sussi (and Japanese cuisine in general) should be served this particular drink, which is considered a completely integral part of the gastronomic action.
The main attractiveness of preparing sussi at home is that you can use any fish or seafood. It all depends on its own taste and opportunities. To properly cut the slices of fish, you need to cut the end of a piece of fillet at an angle and then cut into thin slices diagonally. Sustic rice prepare easy: 2.5 cups of still warm, boiled on a couple of rice shock in a wooden bowl, add 2 tablespoons of sushi vinegar, 1 teaspoon salt and 0.5 tablespoon sugar. Stirring rice with a wooden spatula, you need to fan it with a fan to cool to room temperature. Also, the list of mandatory ingredients includes: Nori – dried seaweed in sheets, Vasabi – Japanese horseradish, Gary, or Syoga – thinly chopped marinated ginger, su, or Avashe-Sous – Sousi Vcsus. And then you need to very thin cut fish or other seafood and vegetables. A classic knife, which is recommended to use, is made of high carbon steel, and its handle is made of wood, as it does not slide in hand. Although any sharp knife is suitable. Also for the preparation of rolls requires a bamboo mat – Susimaki. It should be put on a nori, and on it a layer of rice, using a wooden spatula, then pieces of fish – chopsticks. And with the help of a rug gently wrap, and after cutting into portions.
Only fresh product
The owners of restaurants will be purchased daily just caught fish in the wholesale market. Most of all is famous for the market in Tokyo district of Tsukidzi. Tokyo can be called "Fish Sadcom" Japan. It is there that you can see the maximum possible fish diversity. Yes, also noisy and emotional Japanese. It is not quite common spectacle, because in everyday life they rarely hear how they increase the voice, and here it is worth a real Japanese gam. The fact is that the parties of the fish sell a auction method, and here noise is no longer avoided. Purchase of seafood in the Tsukidzi market – the occupation is not for "owl". The market opens at dawn, about four o’clock in the morning. It is at this time that fishermen return from night fishing. Even if you are not going to buy anything, you follow a time to overcome drowsiness and come to the opening. You will see so much seafood that the impression will remain for life. Red, meat-like tuna carcasses, predatory octopus tentacles, ribbed shells of crabs of a variety of calibers, pearl sash sash with hard jelly mollusk, wet caviar grades … and all this magnificence, smelling with iodine and sea salt, rests on diamondly sparkling brush. To the opening of shops and restaurants, all this wealth donated to people by the sea must be sold. Otherwise it is frozen and comes the next day in the institution is no longer the first grade, but as a product "second" Freshness.
In addition to visual pleasure, the Tsukidzi market should also receive taste: on its territory there is a suicious, which is considered hardly better in Japan, and therefore in the world. Entourage there is rustic, but it’s not an atmosphere, but in the unsurpassed freshness of the marine product. Such freshness and such a variety will never reach any institution, be it in New York, Paris or Moscow. Looking at all this magnificence, the Chinese-Japanese survival was remembered: there are everything in this world, with the exception of the reflection of the moon in a puddle.