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The significance of sushi restaurants

April 25th, 2004 · 1 Comment

In his post Food predictions and pronouncements, Tyler Cowen explained why one should buy stock in sushi restaurants:

… I offered the following principle. If sushi restaurants are new to a country, and are succeeding, buy shares in the stocks of that country. Raw fish, of course, can be toxic. Quality can be hard to monitor with the naked eye. Sushi consumption is a sign that people are starting to trust each other.

For me, I think of eating sushi as an act of trusting my husband, the one who brings me to the restaurant. Microbiologist that I am, it’s difficult for me to let go of past prejudices and consume something possibly “toxic”. I’ve seen it more in personal terms: I trust my husband in this new adventure and the act of eating sushi builds on our relationship.

But yes it is also an act of trusting the restaurant. We rarely eat sushi at places where the food travels round and round on little boats for hours (or at least that’s the way it appears). Specific types of sushi such as blow fish are a definite matter of life and death. Not to mention the possibilities for microbiological contamination.

So sushi is an act of trust. Trust in the person who recommends the restaurant. Trust in the restaurant. And trust in the society. An economic indicator. I never thought raw fish on rice could be so significant!

He also offered other advice such as

Look to eat in strip malls, not shopping malls. Low rents encourage culinary experimentation and attract immigrants.

I’m not in a position to evaluate his predictions on sushi or innovative strip mall cuisine. However I do wonder about his pronouncement on fast food:

Fast food will get much better, and soon.

What is the definition of “better”? And “soon”?

Tags: food

1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Katherine // Apr 28, 2004 at 4:16 pm

    “Better” fast food is already here, like World Wrapps, Jamba Juice, Le Boulanger, Una Mas – healthier, more interesting, less greasy, more choice, more produce, meat not compulsory. That’s what I think of, anyway.