The city of Tel Aviv has a weird obsession with sushi. I’m not sure who thought it was a good idea to start serving raw fish in a desert locale, but there are over 100 sushi restaurants in the city and that number is continuously growing.
Fun fact: Tel Aviv is the world’s third largest sushi market per capita, behind Tokyo and NYC, and about 20% of the sushi restaurants in Tel Aviv are kosher.
I hate sushi. Or at least, I did, until I had sushi in Tel Aviv.
I don’t like fish. Or seafood. Yeah, I’ll try it, but raw fish freaks me out. And the taste of seaweed doesn’t do anything for me.
I didn’t eat chicken breast until junior high, and that was only because there was a storm at camp and we had to eat in an unusual location and there was no PB&J option like usual.
I started eating red meats in high school, and now I’m questioning how I went so long without steak in my life. Vegetables? Ha. I didn’t eat anything green until high school. Potatoes and corn made up the entirety of the vegetable block on my food pyramid.
It’s a good thing I love fruit, because otherwise there would have been zero nutritional value in my diet growing up.
But after work one day in TLV, a bunch of us ventured out to Moon Sushi for dinner. I tagged along, assuming I would just go home and eat leftovers afterwards. But, once we got there, I knew I had to try something.
First of all, the menu was extensive. And that’s an understatement. We were handed a forty-page booklet of tartar, maki, sushi towers, temaki (sushi cones), nigiri, sashimi, sushi sandwiches (?!!), calypsos, tempura, hinari, ramen and yakitori.
Needless to say, it took us all a good twenty minutes before we could narrow it down to decide what we actually wanted.
Since I still couldn’t get over the thought of raw fish, I ordered Pokemon (beef skewers stuffed with gouda) and a vegetarian bestseller sushi that had avocado, carrot, cucumber, sweet potato, melted gouda cheese and teriyaki sauce.
Cheese on sushi = way more amazing than you could even imagine. The entire experience hit home when I realized that trying new things is the way to go. The sushi was ah-mazing, as was the atmosphere and the company.
I don’t know how sushi became so trendy in Tel Aviv, but it brings a new spice to life in the desert. And variety is the spice of life, right?
People always say they want to live with #noragrets, and that’s something I firmly believe food can help with. Trying new things was the underlying theme of my summer in Israel, and it’s something that everyone should make an effort to do in their daily lives.
All it takes is one moment of discomfort to have a life-changing experience — thanks to my time in Israel, sushi is no longer something I’m afraid of.