Hey! Nice to finally meet you. Thanks for coming out with me tonight. I guess Dan and Lauren figured we’d hit it off. How do you know Lauren? I met Dan in college. Small world. Anyway, are you hungry? Let me just grab my coat and then we can go get dinner. I was thinking maybe we could get sushi.

Have you heard about sushi yet? It’s the hottest new food trend, served cold and eaten with chopsticks. Stranger than that, it’s actually made of raw fish. Crazy, I know. But trust me, I think you’re going to like it.

A lot of Americans are skeptical about Sushi. I was too, when I first tried it while on a business trip to Houston. Similarly, I’m sure the Japanese were skeptical when they first invented it. They were like, “Raw fish? Are you crazy?” Crazy they were. Crazy like foxes.

Let me tell you a little bit about sushi. No, no, keep your coat on, don’t sit, this will only take a minute; I can tell you while we stand in your vestibule.

The preparation of the sushis is of the utmost importance. Secret sushi recipes are passed down through families for generations. First, you take some raw fish. I hope I haven’t lost you just yet. Fish? Raw? As in, uncooked? You better believe it, Captain America. Then you take the raw fish, and you roll it into little sushis. They’re like the size of appetizers, but if you eat enough of them, you’ll get full. The reason sushis are filling is because of the rice. The rice is like the rice you might order with Chinese food. But it’s not fried in the Chinese style. It’s just boiled rice. I understand if raw fish and boiled rice sounds a bit bland, but don’t you worry.

Have they got condiments? Oh do they ever.

Sushi is served with a variety of exotic condiments, none of which you are likely to be familiar if you’ve never tried sushi. Most important is a “soy sauce.” Its purpose is the same as its American equivalent, tartar sauce (or maybe ketchup or honey mustard): to enhance flavor. I would describe it as salty and brown. There’s also a small green paste called “wasabi.” Be careful! It might look like guacamole, but that couldn’t possibly be further from the truth. It’s not prepared in the Mexican style like guacamole, it’s prepared in the Japanese style. Just a small dab of this wasabi stuff will light your sinuses ablaze. I recommend cooling them off with some soy sauce, or a piece of ginger, which looks like raw fish, but isn’t.

For drinks, I recommend “sake.” Sake is wine made out of rice. Obviously it’s wine, so there are still some grapes in it. But I would say it’s primarily rice. There aren’t any chunks of rice in it, nor are there chunks of grape. It’s not the same rice they use to make the sushis either.

There is another type of sushi we might encounter tonight. It’s called “sashimi.” I like sashimis because sometimes when you’re not looking, it scurries away. It’s just a little critter, nothing to be afraid of. We can always order more.

Look, sushi is not for everyone. It is not for unadventurous eaters. Most Americans will inevitably feel nervous about all this “spicy guacamole this” and “raw fish that.” But trust me on this one. One of us has to take the lead here, and I’m in the mood for sushis.

However, I have good news. If you’re not an adventurous eater, most sushi restaurants also serve “tempura.” These are meats such as beef, chicken, shrimp, and crab, which they deep fry until they are crispy and delicious. They are not served raw, like the fish.

Anyway, shall we head out?

I think we’re really going to hit it off. I know all of this is new and maybe you’re not used to taking such risks, but I’m going to make it worth your while. I’m going to take you on an unforgettable journey around the world; to the Far East; the land of the rising sun; to Japan, home of the sushis.