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by Jason Torchinsky
Remember when sushi was weird? I do. I remember when you'd, say, go back home to your parents and suggest you all go out for sushi, and there'd be the usual jokes about eating bait, and you'd insist, no, it's really good, and your dad would get all mad and crazy and slam your hand in the car door again and again and you'd end up in the hospital wondering just why it was he never really accepted you? Sure, we all remember that. But now, sushi's no big deal. Everyone eats it. Hell, even my grandma puts away pounds of Futo Maki and California Rolls.

And even though sushi's now pretty normal fare here in America, consider this staggering fact: for every piece of sushi that exists in the world, there are over ten pieces that don't exist. That's alot of nonexistant sushi to keep track of. So, to help out, here is my partial guide to nonexistant sushi (I don't know the names for these in Japanese, so if you're planning on ordering any of this not-so-real sushi, you might want to print out this page and point):
Cheese Sushi Roll. For far too long the elegance of sushi has been without the always-improving element of cheese. No more, once this sushi exists. A variety of cheeses can be employed, or, if budget is an issue, a Chee-to.

Fishstick Sushi. Sushi is normally associated with only the freshest fish, and this has been both its greatest asset and its most crippling downfall. But why keep shackled to fresh fish when breaded, frozen fishsticks are so freaking delicious? Best served while fishstick is still crunchily frozen.

Fish-on-a-stick Sashimi. In a refreshing break from tradition, this puckish sashimi eschews the standard seafood and rice vehicles in favor of a nice stick. When the fish is fresh, you can't beat it for great food on the go. Plus, it makes an effective flyswatter or gavel.

Sushi Roll Sushi Roll. What's the next best thing to great sushi? MORE great sushi! So, what better kind of sushi can you have than sushi made with more great sushi? That's the idea behind this taste treat. It's a delicious sushi roll wrapped in another delicious sushi roll. Save room for second seconds!

Whole Baseball (uncooked). In keeping with the long sushi tradition, this genuine, major-league spec baseball is served fresh and completely uncooked, on a bed of white rice.

Cocktail Weenie Sushi. You know who doesn't regularily enjoy coctail weenies? Animals. Filthy animals. That's why it's high time there was some really top-notch sushi that used cocktail weenies. Well, that time is now, my friends, that time is now. A sweet, delicious, raw cocktail weenie is strapped to the traditional sushi rice block with seaweed. Served with a ketchup and soy sauce dipping compound.

Tiny, Stunned Robot Sushi. Perhaps the only things the Japanese know better than sushi are miniturization and robotics. Any peek into a consumer electronics store or a glimpse of the Sony Aibo robotic dog will tell you that. That's why Tiny, Stunned Robot Sushi seems so right, so natural. Just make sure you swallow before that little robot comes to!

Sandwich Sashimi. The Sashimi variant of sushi is really all about the ingredients used, and the simplicity. Salmon sashimi, for example, is the purest celebration of salmon meat known to man. Just as the sandwich sashimi is the purest expression of sandwich. Each sandwich is selected for its freshness, then is chilled and thinly sliced into strips. Only trained sushi masters know how to slice it properly, as doing so the wrong way can make the sandwich deadly poisonous.

Cigar Sushi Roll. Remember the cigar craze of the late 90s? Dear God those were some wonderful times. Cigar bars, Demi Moore, humidors, leather armchairs, shit, that was living, with a capital "iving". I miss those times. So when I get misty for those carefree days of the mid-to-late Clinton administration, I pop a pice of cigar sushi in my mouth and taste the sweet burn of genuine Havanna tobacco and wasabi.

Otter Pop Sushi. Sadly, sushi isn't sold in roving trucks. But that's all going to change in the summer thanks to cool, refreshing Otter Pop sushi. At the heart of an Otter Pop sushi roll is a frozen delicious Otter Pop, still encased in its plastic wrapper. Then, that tube of frozen summer fun is rolled in wasabi and sushi rice, for a combination that can't be beat! Hey Mr.Ice Cream man! One Otter Pop Sushi please!


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