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  • This is a California roll, and it was probably invented in Japan.

  • Wrong.

  • Oh, California?

  • Nope, it was invented in Canada.

  • Oh.

  • This is Chef Tojo.

  • Hi, I'm sushi chef Tojo.

  • He helped make sushi one of the most popular foods in the U.S. and Canada.

  • But to understand this, we have to take a look back.

  • It was 1971, and sushi wasn't popular.

  • When it came to Japanese food, people only liked a couple things.

  • Just people eating tempura... and also teriyaki.

  • Turns out, North Americans, they did not like seaweed.

  • No, no, no way.

  • "Look terrible," they said. Some people, "Yuck!" you know.

  • So Tojo did something crazy.

  • He wrapped the rice on the outside of the seaweed.

  • To hide it.

  • In Japan, people they...bashing me.

  • "Oh, this is a wrong idea, wrong idea."

  • But...people like it.

  • And Chef Tojo, he did not stop there.

  • Okay, everybody eats cucumber, avocado and cooked crab.

  • Just I changed its preparation. Just roll.

  • So he rolled these preferred ingredients into one.

  • Beautiful.

  • Amazing.

  • Cuisine-changing roll.

  • I didn't call it a California roll. We called it an inside-out roll.

  • Word is, it got the name California Roll because it was so popular with people who came to his restaurant from L.A.

  • And the roll made people think differently about sushi.

  • It was some sort of gateway roll.

  • People starting with California roll, "Oh, this is very good!" Then, smoked salmon and tuna. Step by step, they love it.

  • Chef Tojo's beginner roll was such a success.

  • Japan's Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries appointed him as the nation's Goodwill Ambassador for Japanese cuisine.

  • And now, sushi is everywhere.

  • Stickers on your notebook.

  • USB drives.

  • Play-Doh molds.

  • Wooden toy sets everywhere.

  • Maybe not all thanks to Chef Tojo.

  • But definitely partly.

This is a California roll, and it was probably invented in Japan.

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B2 H-INT US GreatBigStory roll sushi chef california seaweed

The California Roll Was Invented in Canada

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    Julia Kuo   posted on 2019/05/01
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