The Start of California Rolls

In 1975, the first California Rolls were made in Los Angeles. This was in the Little Tokyo area and took place at the Japanese restaurant "Tokyo Kaikan," located on the corner of 2nd St. and San Pedro. Two sushi chefs who worked there, Imaizumi Teruo and Mashita Ichiro, were the originators of California Rolls. Back in 1975, there were only three Japanese restaurants in Little Tokyo, and getting sushi dane (fish) was very difficult at the time since the freezer systems at the time were not very advanced.

Therefore, the fish were wrapped in dry ice and air mailed from Tokyo daily. Under these difficult circumstances, the two chefs improvised and thought, since they were in California, they might as well try using avocados. At first, these avocados were not rolled, but served as Nigiri sushi. Eventually, they created a roll know as the gAvocado Rollh. The first roll using avocado only had shredded crabmeat and pickled ginger with rice. At that time, the idea of putting mayonnaise into the roll never came to mind.

This Avocado Roll at the time was also rolled by hand. This was the 1st generation of the California Roll, but as time progressed, it eventually evolved into the "inside-out roll" with the rice on the outside. The American people at the time were not used to fishy smells with their food, and therefore, many people did not eat sashimi. For these reasons the California roll became very popular here in America and this why it still prospers today.

The Start of "American-style" Sushi

From the early 1970's, Japanese sushi restaurants have been cropping up more and more in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York. Starting in the 1990's, many different unique rolls were being invented all over the country. By 1995, it was clear that America was experiencing a "sushi boom." By this time, much American style sushi such as the "Caterpillar Roll" and "Rainbow Roll" were present. Even today in Japan, it is not rare to hear about California Rolls (or other American-style rolls) once in a while, and that just shows how good these rolls can be.

The story about the start of California rolls also ties into numerous other sushi tane. At the time, it was extremely difficult to line up an attractive assortment of various fresh fish in restaurants, and at times even tuna were not seen on display. For these reasons, sushi restaurants decided to use "smoked salmon." In the late 70's, this smoked salmon became a hand roll with thinly cut cucumbers, bonitos, and yamagobo inside. This salmon skin roll has become one of America's most popular sushi, and interestingly, it has also been popular in Japan, ever since the year 2000.

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Kaiseki cuisine
Kaiseki cuisine