Japan Sends Out Sushi Squad

Tokyo to certify 'authentic' restaurants around the world
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 30, 2008 11:50 AM CST
Japan's Rainbow Roll Sushi shop chef Riki Sawaguchi pours sauce on his sushi category winning "Beef-on-a-Griddle Sushi" using California Koshihikari during the 2nd California Rice Masters cooking contest...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Japan, worried that the globalization of sushi is embarrassing its national cuisine—think California rolls—is about to start certifying which of the estimated 25,000 Japanese restaurants around the world are authentic. Experts based in major cities, including London, Paris, and Los Angeles, will give eateries that pass muster a logo showing chopsticks holding a cherry petal and a rising-sun flag, reports AFP.

Certification will be based on using traditional ingredients, seasonings, and recipes, along with meeting standards for freshness and proper hygiene. There are also criteria such as originality, dish arrangement, and customer service. "It's important to share the heart that goes into authentic Japanese food with world chefs, but we can't force them," said a member of the certification body.