Everything is not always as it seems. For reasons unknown, restaurants will sometimes sell something under a different name, confusing the customer (at best) and hurting them (at worst). Often, they get away with it, but sometimes… Well… you read the news.
I bring this up because there is an item served at sushi-ya called “white tuna” (shiro maguro), or “super white tuna,” that is sometimes actual white albacore tuna (usually the white tuna), but also sometimes another fish, called ‘Escolar’ (which is usually the super white tuna). Legal requirements aside, it’s bad enough to sell a product that folks think is something else, but particularly with escolar, as some folks just don’t handle that particular fish quite well. As evidenced by an Austrailian Government health editorial, there are oils in that fish that can cause significant gastro-intestinal distress in some individuals. Not fun if you are planning a night out.
Sushi is confusing enough for newcomers, and even those who are very familiar with the dish are sometimes not aware of practices such as this. And this is not to say that all white tuna is Escolar and every restaurant scams its clientèle, but you never know. But if you happen to get it, you’ll know soon enough.
The Sushi Guy
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