It was a sad day around my house when the announcement was made. Sponge Bob was cancelled. The celebration went on for hours! We were sad that we ran out of ice for the margaritas. Then the news came in that it was all just another internet rumor. We continued drinking without the ice at that news. On the bright side, Squidward is safe from the hands of sushi chefs throughout the land for at least one more season.
After careful research that I made up just now, there is a conspiracy theory that the word sushi has a hidden meaning in Japanese that is unknown outside the confines of the Land of the Rising Run. The Oxford Dictionary defines sushi as “a Japanese dish consisting of small balls or rolls of vinegar-flavored cold cooked rice served with a garnish of raw fish, vegetables, or egg.” A simpler definition says that it means “sour tasting”. The secret hidden meaning according to the conspiracy theorists in my head is defined as follows: “Stupid American who actually ate the raw fish!” I must admit to being a stupid American, but that has nothing to do with the fact I like raw fish with my rice. My stupidity is all my own.
My favorite sushi place is right down the road from me. It has tasty rice (tasty is code for “vinegary”), shrimp tempura (which as far as I can tell means “deep fried”), seared tuna (it is seared with a tiny flame thrower), snow crab (that is fresh enough to walk off the roll), salmon (pretty, pink and cold) and crunchy. I have no idea what the crunchy is and I am too scared to ask. Sometimes you’re better off not knowing what is on the plate.
The sushi chef there has some special rolls that he makes for those of us who are stupid enough to come around often. There is one that he had on the special board a couple years ago called a Chocolate City Roll. I have no idea why it is called that. There is absolutely no chocolate in it. It has shrimp and crab and tuna and avocado and rice and some sauces that I also have no idea what they are. It is very tasty for a combination of cooked shellfish and raw regular fish.
Now I want you to know that here in east Tennessee we do have some cooked sushi for the barbarians (read that as “smart”) among us who prefer their fish cooked. There is this one restaurant that serves stuff that is similar to the crunchies found in my favorite sushi place rolled in a ball and deep fried. I think it’s called a hushpuppy. They also serve their fish batter-dipped and deep fried. Hey, it’s east Tennessee. What did you expect? That particular place is named after a great literary character from Robert Louis Stevenson’s writings.
Let’s make a deal. I won’t bug you to eat raw fish if you don’t bug me about eating raw fish. Now let’s talk about the real meaning in the word sashimi…