Although he did give his customers the vinegared rice and fish that any Tokyo sushi man would, the Kobe influence was evident in his choice of materials. He always used white Kobe vinegar, never yellow Tokyo vinegar, and always a thick soy sauce not seen in Tokyo. He offered only fish taken before his very eyes, so to speak, here along the shores of the Inland Sea. No fish was unsuitable for sushi, he insisted—on that point at least he agreed with the old Yobei. He tried conger eels and blowfish and dace and even oysters and sea urchins, and scraps of halibut or clam, and sometimes red whale meat. Nor did he limit himself to fish: he used mushrooms too, and bamboo sprouts and persimmons. But he was opposed to tunas, the most common sushi ingredients; and scallops and omelettes and the commonplace sushi that goes with them were never seen in his restaurant. Though he sometimes cooked his fish, the prawns and abalone were alive and moving when they reached the customer.--Junichiro Tanizaki, The Malkioka Sisters 292-3
(Edward G. Seidensticker trans. 1957; paperback ed. 1995)
The sushi (do I still need to use italics?) man, by the way, is a character who could serve as a fit model for Seinfeld's soup Nazi. Later in the book, a very proper Japanese matron swallows what seems to be an iffy bit of urchin. She palliates with a wholsome dose of saké.
Crosscultural Footnote: Chez Buce has chosen sushi for Thanksgiving dinner.
Isolationist Footnote: Persimmons?