A Universal Palate

As an American munched away at his first sushi, I thought about “a universal palate,” which is a taste that can be shared by almost anyone in the world through food such as good pizza. I don’t know if it should be called “universal” or “global,” however, you’ll see these days more and more travelers with a universal palate who try any kind of ethnic cuisines that they encounter. Ryotaro Shiba, a famous Japanese novelist and historian, wrote about the “universality“ of sushi in his travelogue in America(America Sobyo.) When he was a child and first ate Edomae, Tokyo-style, sushi, it was a sudden hit with him. Sushi was originally from Western Japan and was customarily very fishy(I’ll write about the history of sushi later.) However, the local cuisine had been enhanced by “cool” Tokyo sushi-chefs for over 200 years and became “civilized.” Shiba saw that Americans love sushi and thought that suhi had already been “tested” by the civilization process in Tokyo. Therefore, sushi became popular in the US when exported. A civilization is a prerequisite for good cuisine.

We will see travelers armed with the Michelin Tokyo Guide in the near future. Hope that their global palates will discover the next gastronomic wonder for the world. Let’s try to guess.



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