What does texture have to do with the taste of sushi?!

Texture is a tactile sensation that is felt when food is physically stimulated in the mouth. Tactile sensations are felt by pressure receptors in the skin, tongue, and periodontal ligament of the mouth that are deformed.

The role of the pressure receptors in the mouth is to obtain information to determine if food can be digested and nourished. Digestion is made possible by physically destroying the food, making it smaller, and breaking it down with enzymes. Only when the molecules are small enough can they be absorbed by the small intestine and other organs. Chewing in the mouth is the first step in this process. In the process of chewing, the food becomes smaller and smaller, and the texture changes rapidly.

The Japanese are the ethnic group with the most textural language. According to a survey on the number of terms related to texture, Japanese has about 500 words related to texture. In contrast, Chinese has about 150 words, French about 250, and German and English about 100. The Japanese have created a wide variety of foods with different textures by distinguishing and enjoying the differences among these many words used to describe textures.

Texture and taste are not directly related, since they are sensed by different receptors and are carried as information to the brain by different nerves, but the release of taste substances from hard foods is slower, and thus taste is perceived more slowly. On the other hand, the opposite is true for soft food, which tastes more quickly.

Nigiri sushi is made with an emphasis on texture. The act of aging sushi topping is waiting for the texture to soften in terms of physical changes. The purpose of this is for the sushi topping to adhere to the sushi rice. In conjunction, it is waiting for the production of inosinic acid, an umami substance. Shrimp, squid, and other ingredients not only become softer but also change to a gooey state. In this way, there is an aspect that makes it easier to perceive the taste.

Several techniques are used to mix the sushi ingredients and sushi rice in the mouth. We make sure that one or the other does not move first from the mouth to the back of the throat. If the sushi rice remains in the mouth, it is equivalent to eating sashimi, and the synergistic effect of umami cannot be expected. The way to do this would be to slit the sushi topping as much as necessary. The sushi rice and the sushi topping become as if they are one food. Of course, this also serves to improve the texture by cutting off white streaks and small bones.

Even the same portion of the same sushi item can have different textures depending on the sensitivity of the sushi chef. In other words, the taste changes. It is as if one were to choose a 500-word term for the texture, and then cast a spell on the sushi item. It is fun to guess what the sushi chef wanted to express.

[sc_apply url=”https://sushiuniversity.jp/apply/”]

We hope this information will be helpful.

Revision date: February 26, 2024

Share this article

What is development fish?

The Fisheries Research Center of the Fisheries Research Agency (FRA) is engaged in a project to find new fish from the world’s oceans that suit the Japanese palate.

In 1971, the former Marine Fisheries Resource Development Center was established as a public organization to research new fishing grounds and fish and shellfish, and to study business feasibility, and was given the mission to find fish and shellfish that had not been distributed in Japan before.

The seafood distributed domestically by the Center was called “development fish”.

The term “development fish” does not refer to the creation of new types of seafood through breeding or other means, but rather to efforts to make new use of fish and shellfish that have not been distributed domestically. A similar term is “substitute fish,” which is used in place of fish and shellfish that have been conventionally consumed, but developed fish are not intended to be substitutes.

For example, “Gindara (Black cod)” is a fish that was investigated in collaboration with the United States.

This fish is not a codfish, but a member of the Gindara family. At first, it was distributed mainly as surimi because it was black and unattractive, but later it was also consumed as fillets and boiled fish.

The “Karasugarei (Greenland halibut)” is found in the Arctic Ocean, the Bering Sea, and the Sea of Okhotsk. It is often used as Engawa in conveyor-belt sushi.

There is another fish called “Gasutoro“. This fish, named after the leader of the Cuban Revolution, is used in fried white fish. The meat of the “Gasutoro” is white and unctuous, and it is caught along with tuna in longline fisheries.

Since its establishment, the FRA has developed a total of 46 species of fish and shellfish, including Sunfish, Kingklip, and Jumbo flying squid, to provide new food sources. The “development fish” has also enriched our diet.

Unfortunately, the development of “development fish” ended about 20 years ago.

[sc_apply url=”https://sushiuniversity.jp/apply/”]

We hope this information will be helpful.

Revision date: February 9, 2024

Share this article

Copy Protected by Chetan's WP-Copyprotect.