It had to be the first time that I ate sushi that I saw and tried Nori for the first time. This strange wrapping around my sushi rolls, it’s delicate taste makes its presence almost pass unnoticed. Even though it may seem like a secondary ingredient, Nori has a rich story behind itself that most occidentals don’t know about. For this reason the best sushi and hibachi restaurant in Colorado brings you information regarding this sometimes unappreciated ingredient.
A red algae hailing from the genus porphyra, Nori’s oldest description comes from the 8th century. The term was used as generic for various types of seaweeds. It was also used as a form of tax and in certain regions, they would dry it as well as others would harvest it making it a daily type of food. Although its actual form in sheets was not invented until around 1750 through Japanese paper making methods. Previously Nori would be consumed in the form of a paste. The Nori industry just out of Japan produces 340,000 tons, worth over a billion dollars followed by China who produces a third of Japan;s production. Over 600 square kilometers are solely used for the production of Nori in Japan. The finest quality of Nori comes from Japanese island of Kyushu on the Ariake Sea. An interesting fact about Nori is how it was almost lost after World War II. This due to the lack of understanding by the locals of the algae life cycle. It was through the research of British phycologist, Kathleen Mary Drew-Baker whom had studied the algae in Wales, that they were able to save the industry. She now has her own statue in Japan and is hailed as the “Mother of the Sea“. Here in the US we mainly know it as the silent wrapping of sushi but as you can see, Nori has a long history behind him.