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FoodThe Real Purpose Behind That Plastic Grass in Your Take-Out Sushi Box

03:05  07 december  2018
03:05  07 december  2018 Source:   mentalfloss.com

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Containers of takeout sushi in America don't tend to vary too drastically from one vendor to the next. And they almost always come with a strip of fake, plastic grass separating the components. Today, when Japanese chefs pack their bento boxes with fresh leaves, they often use bamboo leaves.

Why is there plastic grass in sushi boxes ? You may not know this but the plastic grass in your take - out sushi box actually has a historical purpose . Now-a-days the grass is used as a decoration and divider but historically, real leaves were used for their antibacterial properties.

The Real Purpose Behind That Plastic Grass in Your Take-Out Sushi Box© iStock.com/Floortje The Real Purpose Behind That Plastic Grass in Your Take-Out Sushi Box Containers of takeout sushi in America don't tend to vary too drastically from one vendor to the next. They usually come with a dab of mossy-green wasabi (actually mustard and horseradish). They may feature California rolls (actually Canadian). And they almost always come with a strip of fake, plastic grass separating the components.

That last part may seem like a distinctly American invention, but it actually comes from a centuries-old practice that's vital to Japanese cuisine, according to The New York Times.

Traditionally, haran (from the Japaneseha for leaf and ran for orchid or lily), also known as baran, is made from fresh leaves, not brightly colored plastic. By nestling a watertight leaf between two foods like fish and rice, Japanese chefs are able to preserve the natural flavors of the ingredients and stop scents from co-mingling.

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The green plastic is simply a garnish to "try" to make the take - out sushi box more attractive. It also serves a divider of sorts, to separate the ginger or wasabi flavors from bleeding onto the sushi . An organic garnish (like parsley, for example) may wilt over time, since supermarket sushi could be

Can you tell me why the heck there’s plastic grass in bento boxes ? It turns out Okumura is no fan of fake food foliage. He was quick to point out that haran were originally In more recent years, with the internationalization of sushi , the plastic variety has spread overseas where it is usually marketed

Today, when Japanese chefs pack their bento boxes with fresh leaves, they often use bamboo leaves. Not only do these leaves keep odors from spreading, but they're also antimicrobial, which means they can slow bacteria growth and extend a meal's expiration date. Baran is so common in Japanese cuisine that there's even an entire art form called sasagiri that involves cutting the leaves into intricate patterns.

In recent decades, though, plastic barriers made to look like grass have started to gain popularity in both the United States and Japan. Fake grass may not look as pretty as the fresh leaves, but it is much cheaper—it cost $6 to supply 1000 to-go boxes, or 0.6 cents per swatch.

[h/t The New York Times]

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21. Plastic grass in takeout sushi had a historical purpose . Actual leaves were once used instead of the now-ubiquitous plastic grass . The leaves were used for decoration and dividing food, but also offered antibacterial properties to help fish stay fresh longer.

Sushi Take Out Containers. Super Hygienic Sushi Rolling Mat is bound together using "Monofilament" strings, which is similar to that of the fishing line. Unfortunately we do not ship to P.O. Boxes with UPS Ground and UPS Expedited shipments as UPS does not deliver to P.O. Boxes .

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