Friday, December 14, 2007

Expert Interview

Interview with James from Arigato Sushi, Sacramento, CA on December 1, 2007

1. How familiar are you with general sushi preparation and techniques?

-My father was also a sushi chef in Japan, so I've grown up around sushi so I'm very familiar
with sushi techniques.

2. Are you aware that sushi is not only in Japan and the United States, but in many other
countries as well?

-Yes, I am. It is a very popular food and is growing popularity all the time.

3. Do you know what might have caused the spread of sushi from Japan to the US or other

-Sushi is different. Non-Japanese are intrigued by the nature of sushi and new food and like to
try it. Those who try it tell their friends and it spreads from there. I'm not sure, but if
anything I think that is how sushi spread to other countries a long long time ago.

This interview with the expert sushi chef while I was eating sushi at the restaurant helped give me even more insight into my topic. It let me realize just how important personal preference is and I was able to do more research to find some more out about globalization of Asian food to other locations and cultures. James was a cool guy and I'm glad he agreed to have the interview with me.

Poster Review Reflection

All of the responses I've received gave really good information and comments. I was able to tweak my research questions to better focus my topic. Originally my topic was on sushi evolution but after reading the comments and talking with Leo, I was able to change my topic to not only sushi evolution but also how sushi became so globalized. I was able to get more insight on my topic from many different angles and it helped me better effectively research my topic. Thank you!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

123 step to developing questions - indiv project

1 - Sushi has varying levels of quality.
2 - Why is it that pretty much any restaurant or store you buy sushi at will have its own flavor and qualities? There is a lot of variability and there must be something that sets one type of sushi apart from another.
3 - Further investigation will allow me to see what components are involved in making sushi and I can better determine aspects that will cause one sushi to be a better quality than another and vice versa. It should be easier to rate the quality of the sushi in order to categorize the varying levels of sushi.

What is it that differentiates the level of quality among sushi? Some are good and others are not so good. Is it the preparation techniques? Is it the type of materials and fish used? Does geographic region play a role? What about the tools and type of knife used?

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Reflection on Focused Research Session (No Class Day)

After spending a couple hours researching, it looks like it'll be harder than I imagined. I'll have to create a scale from 1-10 in rating sushi quality. I will then have to do some more research on trends showing that grocery store sushi is lower quality and less desirable than sushi made in a restaurant. Interviewing the expert sushi makers from each venue will help with my cause by unmasking the individual preparation routines and precautions taken on a daily basis. The theory of quality is highly opinionated but can be fairly monitored by setting strict guidelines for each quality rating. Thus, it should be clear the difference between sushi quality of 1 and 10 as well as the difference between a rating of 7 and 8.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Revised Prospectus Final

Topic question: What is the difference in sushi qualities? (Sushi made in a supermarket vs. sushi made in a specialty restaurant)

1. What is involved in setting the benchmark for the quality in various pieces of sushi?
2. How do you differentiate between the qualities?
a. What is good sushi vs. bad sushi?
b. Sanitation levels?
c. Preparation?

Sushi is one of my favorite foods. I like to eat many kinds of sushi and raw fish and it all tastes very good to me. I do notice that some places I eat sushi does not taste as good as sushi I eat at another place. Some places the rice is too dry or the fish is left out in the open for a long time such as in buffet lines and it does not look as appetizing. I have not specifically thought about a rating system for the quality of sushi I eat, but subconsciously I still stay away from those pieces that look to be in worse condition than others. I did a quick search on sushi preparation and it looks as though the fish is flash frozen to kill off anything it might have picked up while it was being cut from the fish.

I will further investigate the aspects of sushi preparation in order to develop a quality guideline. This will include how the fish is prepared, stored, transported, handled, and the appearance and any other aspects I find along the way. Are there certain techniques that arose that better equip the Japanese when perfecting the art form of sushi preparation, for example? Are there certain methods of quality control to ensure one does not get sick from eating an unappealing piece of sushi vs. an appealing piece? Although there might not be any set quality list already in place, I can research the proper handling and preparation of sushi and develop the standard list of sushi quality and anything that is less than optimal way in the standards will be deducted points of quality.

Friday, September 7, 2007

New Idea

After talking with Leo after class about different topics pertaining to sushi, another classmate suggested I compare qualities of sushi such as the quality of Target sushi vs. restaurant sushi. I liked this idea and decided to run with it. Let's see where it gets me in the next few days of exploration...

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

In Class exercise 1

Topic area: raw fish preparation
Research question: How is raw fish prepared to ensure it is safe to eat?
-How is the fish stored?
-How is the fish transported?
-How is the fish handled?

After talking to Leo, I am switching back to my first topic of specifically sushi preparation rather than the handling of raw fish. I am really confused on the thinking process in what we are supposed to research. I did some research on the UNC library site and one article was saying how although technique is a critical factor in all cookery, it is extremely critical in the preparation of sushi and sashimi. I will continue to research this and find out exactly what more careful precautions are followed in sushi preparation.