Test your sushi knowledge with this fun sushi quiz:
1) Which specialty sushi roll was invented in America?:
a) the spider roll
b) the rainbow roll
c) the California roll
2) What gives most sushi-bar salmon that bright orange color?
a) their diet of krill and plankton
b) their genes
c) food coloring
3) What gives most sushi-bar tuna that bright red color?
c) carbon monoxide
4) Which religious organization makes millions from sales of fish to the sushi market?
a) The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Mormons)
b) Jehovah’s Witnesses
c) The Unification Church (the Moonies)
5) Which popular sushi fish is banned in Japan?
a) fugu (blowfish)
b) koi (goldfish)
c) matsu (super white tuna)
6) That little wedge of green putty on your sushi boat is most likely:
a) real wasabi – “Wasabia japonica”
b) fake wasabi
1. All of the above. Those high-fat specialty rolls are an American invention.
2.c Most sushi bar salmon is farm-raised on a diet of fish meal. Two chemicals, astaxanthin and canthaxanthin are commonly added to their diet to give them the orange color of wild-caught salmon. The European Union recently set limits on the use of canthaxanthin, because it can damage eyesight in high doses/
3. Raw tuna, whether fresh or previously frozen, quickly turns brown. If your tekka maki is bright red, the odds are pretty good that it has been treated with carbon monoxide. The ever-vigilant Food and Drug Administration permits the practice, but, according to the New York Times, carbon monoxide treatment is banned in Canada, Japan and the European Union because it can be used to conceal spoilage.
4. c According to a detailed investigative report in the Chicago Tribune, most of America’s estimated 9,000 sushi restaurants get their raw fish from a company called True World, which is a subsidiary of Unification Church International, a company with close ties to the church.
5. c. Matsu, often sold as “white tuna” or “super white tuna” isn’t actually tuna at all – it’s escolar, also known as snake mackerel or walu. Its fat contains waxy esters that can cause gastrointestinal symptoms, including diarrhea and oily orange leakage. Because of these side effects, it has been banned in Japan since 1977.
6. b. Odds are, it’s fake wasabi, a cheap blend of horseradish, mustard and food coloring. Real wasabi, wasabia japonica, which has a more subtle flavor, is hard to grow and very expensive – up to $100 a pound.