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, but knowing the high quality that Whole Foods prides itself on, I’m 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 great store). 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 undue emphasis on being sanitary above and beyond the laws they must obey (tell me if I’m wrong, that’s just my opinion).

I’ve seen some nasty sushi at these places, though. Brown, crusty, 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 commoditizes it and dumbs sushi down.

Supermarket sushi is utilitarian. It’s evidence. 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. 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. 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.

The Sushi Guy.

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