Sushi From The Grocery Store?

Supermarket sushi from Whole Foods For lunch today I had some basic salmon nigiri sushi and maki sushi from Whole Foods. I used to be practically offended by supermarket sushi as it often looked off, the coloring odd, and the presentation sloppy. But knowing the high quality that Whole Foods prides itself on, I was willing to accept that theirs is fine to eat (BTW, I’m not affiliated with Whole Foods nor do I own their stock or anything, it’s just a store with typically quality items). Also, their sushi is outsourced, and typically, in my area, made by a company named Genji and has a fast turnover rate, so that seems keeps it fresh.

But… I have to say that regular supermarket sushi has always turned me off. When you are eating raw seafood, you have to be careful, and I’ve never thought that your average supermarket placed much emphasis on being sanitary above and beyond the regulations they must obey for handling seafood that will be eaten raw as sushi (please tell me if I’m wrong, that’s just my opinion).

Why Sushi From The Grocery Store?

I’ve seen some nasty sushi at these places, though. Brown, crusty, looking quite old, you name it. And if you’ve ever been sick from bad seafood (I have) you will never want to take that kind of chance again. Sushi is a wonderful food. I obviously wouldn’t have this site if I didn’t think so. But in a sense, making it a supermarket item reflects the commoditization of sushi and both exposes more people to it, but it can also lead to disappointment depending in the quality. So there are pros and cons, and I sit firmly in the middle.

I think of supermarket sushi is utilitarian. It’s evidence of its popularity. It’s a fix when you can’t go to a Japanese restaurant to get some of the good stuff. But I went to Whole Foods today and got some. Perhaps I’m a victim. But a willing one. If you find the right place, and you trust it, supermarket sushi is a nice way to satisfy yourself until you can hit the bar and pick and choose the best. Particularly during a busy work day. But in a way, it’s kind of like playing a game by yourself. It’s a reminder of what it can really be. But nothing can replace omakase at a great restaurant, or even a plain old unagi maki at your place around the corner.

Warren Ransom

I have always been fascinated by the creation and culture of different foods, particularly sushi and sashimi in the modern era of Japanese cuisine. I am a classically trained chef and sushi connoisseur, also having operated a food service company and enjoy investigating and experimenting with food around the world.

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