(SCANDINAVIAN TRAVELER) Eating raw salmon was unheard of in Japan 20 years ago. But a few bright sparks in Norway were able to persuade the Japanese to try it. Norwegian sushi salmon has since become a global phenomenon.
Order assorted sushi in a typical Japanese restaurant and you’re likely to be served a small wooden platter on which 10 or 12 pieces of fish, including tuna, mackerel, squid, octopus, sea urchin and salmon have been arranged on rice. Sampling the sea urchin will certainly impress your Japanese friends. Then watch your Japanese friends eat the salmon and (pretend) to be equally impressed. Why? Well, although Japanese have been eating raw fish for centuries, 20 years ago the selection would not have included the salmon that is usually served on virtually every sushi platter today, both in Japan and elsewhere. The Japanese did not traditionally eat raw salmon because locally caught, i.e. Pacific, salmon was believed to harbor parasites, and considered too lean to be served as sushi. The Japanese ate salmon cooked and cured, but never raw. That salmon has now landed in Japanese restaurants is thanks to a combination of strategic analysis, crazy optimism and smart technology.