A friend and I were discussing where to have lunch today, and she said she had heard that you shouldn’t eat sushi on a Monday, because fishermen take Sunday off so you’re eating fish at least a day old.
I imagine this likely has to do with where you are, too. I’m in South Florida on the coast, fwiw.
Should one not have sushi on Monday or any other day of the week?
I’ve heard something similar, but much more complicated. First off, the fishermen’s day off ain’t real important; most people don’t live that near the coast, anyway. But most restaurants do not get shipments of food daily. It comes by once or twice a week. So that probably means there are good and bad days.
I didn’t know “sushi-grade” was a USDA term to be honest (is it?), I always thought of it as a culinary term not a legal one.
I wasn’t asking if the US had jurisdiction over the entire world, but if your definition was a commonly accepted one. I can’t seem to find any definition on the web, just a bunch of places claiming their fish is “sushi-grade”.
This Slate article paraphrases a NYTimes article as saying “the USDA even stipulates that most fish destined to be eaten raw must be frozen to inhibit food-borne parasites.” That’s hardly a first-hand cite, but I do remember reading the original NYTimes article as well.
Fishermen don’t work Sundays? That must apply to non-seasonal fish (assuming there is such a thing). I worked the sockeye run in Alaska a couple summers, and we certainly did work Sunday if Fish & Game declared an opening.
There is at least one restaurant in town that prides itself on getting fresh fish flown in daily. They don’t skip Monday, but I don’t eat there often enough to know if there’s some sort of pattern for what is and isn’t served on Mondays.
I confirmed that my friend did hear this via the “Kitchen Confidential” TV show adapted from Tony Bourdain’s book SmackFu mentioned. Likely the ‘Fisherman not working Sundays’ bit was an incorrect memory, and it was either the NYC fish market being closed or simply not getting a fish delivery every day.
I think you’re overly focused on the phrase “sushi grade”. I’m not sure it was being proposed as a formal classification. Whatever they call it, though, my understanding matches what you dug up from the USDA: it’s required that fish to be eaten raw be frozen first. They might not have a formal name for it.
I can’t speak for the rest of the world, but the Tsukiji fish market in Tokyo does indeed close on Sunday. Since the sushi restaurants in the area generally all get their fish from the market the same morning, then it follows that the day to avoid sushi would be Sunday, rather than Monday. However, since 90% of the people in the area are there either because they’re working at a business connected with the fish market or they’re tourists going to see the fish market, most of the sushi restaurants close on Sunday since nobody’s going to be there anyway.
Most fish sold as sushi are not really warm water fish that we get near here. The exception, recently, is grouper. Having caught and cleaned grouper I’d be fairly hesitant to ever eat it any way other than fully cooked.
I also doubt that much commercial fish is sold same day caught anymore. Much more commonly frozen or iced for later sale. Some local exceptions but I’d use that as the rule of thumb.
Not sure of the veracity, but a Japanese sushi chef once told me that sushi should also be handled differently (and thus more expensive) than regular fish. First, should be line caught, not netted. Secondly, care in handling after catch to keep from breaking/bruising the flesh. If anyone here has every worked catching sushi grade fish maybe they can confirm or debunk this.