Why the Traditional Ingredients of Sushi Never Required Raw Fish

In a new episode of the informative trivia series Today I Found Out, host Simon Whistler talks about sushi, its origins and its former iterations throughout history. Whistler also explains the difference between sushi and sashimi.

…sushi is not raw fish, that’s sashimi.Sashimi is just sliced raw fish, sometimes dipped in sauces and sometimes served with sushi. Sushi is any food dish consisting of vinegared rice, usually served with some other toppings, but not always. It happens to often be served with various types of sea food, either cooked or raw, and perhaps even a mix of the two; but that tradition simply comes from the primary food staples of the locations where sushi originated (not Japan, by the way). Sushi can be served with just about any toppings or none at all. …Perhaps the reason sushi is so strongly thought of as “raw fish” in the western world is that, whatever the toppings, it is commonly served cold. Also, the general idea of raw fish isn’t exactly to the liking of most westerners conceptually, so that form of sushi stood out more when it was first introduced; giving rise to the notion that sushi was any dish that included raw fish.