American Attitudes toward Sushi as a Reflection of Attitudes toward Globalization and Culture



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This research examines American attitudes toward “high quality” sushi in America, in order to examine ideas that individuals have regarding the authenticity of “ethnic” food and the designation of “high quality.” By examining American sushi restaurants’ reputations and trends regarding omakase menus from different large metropolitan cities in the United States and observing and interviewing members of a large sushi enthusiast organization, attitudes and ideas that individuals have regarding identity and globalization are revealed. The perception of American sushi’s quality, particularly as it relates to adherence to or deviation from traditional Japanese sushi production, indicate real and imagined ideas of sushi’s cultural identity, as this “ethnic” food is being experienced outside of its original culture by individuals who may or may not have ever experienced Japanese culture. Individuals and geographic areas with different levels of exposure to Japanese cuisine and culture appear to influence the manner that sushi is produced and how its quality is determined. The perception of what is termed “Americanized” sushi also reveal values and attitudes held by Americans regarding authenticity and quality in food production.



Sushi, Globalization, Attitudes, America, American, Ethnic Food