YouTube // Great Big Story
YouTube // Great Big Story

Step Inside Japan’s Only Sushi Restaurant Run by Women

YouTube // Great Big Story
YouTube // Great Big Story

Sexism is hardly a foreign concept in the United States. Plenty of Americans believe there are certain jobs a woman could never do: computer programmer, president, Ghostbuster. But “sushi chef” is not one that frequently comes to mind. Hop over to Japan, and it’s a very different story. Read on and check out the video below for a look inside the country’s only sushi restaurant run by women.

Tradition is a big deal in Japan. Unfortunately, not all of these traditions are rational. Women can’t be sushi chefs, according to traditional logic, because their hands are too warm. Also, their makeup and perfume will block their sense of smell. Also, it’s hard work, and women aren’t cut out for hard work. Also, the area behind the counter is sacred, and, to quote one chef, “women are silly.”

Then there’s the idea that having a period renders a person insensible. “To be a professional means to have a steady taste in your food,” chef Yoshikazu Ono told The Wall Street Journal, “but because of the menstrual cycle women have an imbalance in their taste, and that’s why women can’t be sushi chefs.” (Fun fact: everybody’s hormones are fluctuating all the time. Even men’s.)

Even with these irrational barriers, lots of women want to become sushi chefs. Unfortunately, that almost always means training under male chefs, who tend to treat them as ornaments rather than apprentices. Getting a real education can be next to impossible, but without experience and qualifications, a woman chef will have an even harder time finding a job.

Enter Nadeshico Sushi, Japan’s first women-run sushi restaurant. The Tokyo business opened up in 2010, when manager Yuki Chizui took on a small staff of young women and trained them herself. The restaurant was facing an uphill battle from the start; the fish market, like the sushi business, is also run by men, none of whom wanted to sell fish to a woman. Through a friend of a friend, Chizui managed to hook up with an all-women fishing outfit, which agreed to supply the restaurant.

Unsurprisingly, the all-women restaurant was not exactly welcomed by other sushi chefs. But the Nadeshico team persisted, and are running a thriving business to this day.

The restaurant has taken a big step forward in bucking sexist tradition, but that doesn’t exactly make it a beacon of equality. The name Nadeshico is taken from the term yamato nadeshiko, or “idealized woman,” an old-fashioned concept that prioritizes beauty, obedience, and domestic skills.

Nadeshico Sushi was the brainchild of a middle-aged man, Kazuya Nishikiori, who says the restaurant’s motto is “fresh and kawaii”—cute. The women he hires are enthusiastic chefs, but they’re also pretty and young. "If someone wanted to work here and was 30,” he told The Wall Street Journal, “I'd put her in the back."

It’s a start, we guess.

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A Simple Trick for Keeping Lemons Fresher for Longer

Lemons don't get much respect in the average refrigerator. After taking a slice or two to punch up drinks or add to a recipe, the remaining wedges can often be pushed out of view by incoming groceries and left to go to waste.

But the folks at Food52 have come up with a solution to get more use out of those lemons by keeping them fresher longer. Because citrus needs moisture in order to remain fresh, all you need to do is place your lemon in a bowl of water before putting it in the fridge.

Another idea: Put them in a sealed plastic bag and make sure you remove all the air to prevent mold growth. You'll get up to three months of freshness with this method. If your lemons are already cut into wedges, you can expect they'll last three to four days.

The "hack" also works for oranges and grapefruits. As for freezing, you can do that, too, but the resulting mushy fruit is probably best left for making juices.

[h/t Food52]

The Top 10 Pizza Chains in America

Pizza is a $45.1 billion industry in the United States. Here are the top pizza chains across this great nation, based on gross sales in 2016.


Pizza Hut is truly enormous. Raking in more than $5.75 billion in 2016, the chain is best known for its red roof architecture. The style is so distinctive that the blog Used to Be a Pizza Hut collects photos of former Pizza Hut restaurants now turned into other businesses.


With more than $5.47 billion in revenue, Domino's is nipping at Pizza Hut's heels. For decades, Domino's offered a guarantee that your pizza would arrive in 30 minutes or less, or it would be free. The policy was terminated in 1993 in the U.S., and Domino's has since focused on expanding its menu with pasta, sandwiches, and other goodies.


Photo of the exterior of a Little Caesars restaurant

Founded in 1959 by Mike and Marian Ilitch, Little Caesars focuses on carry-out pizza at ultra-competitive prices. Using slogans like "Pizza! Pizza!," "Pan! Pan!," and "Deep Deep Dish," the chain offers hot cheese pizzas for just $5.


Headquartered in Jeffersontown, Kentucky, Papa John's was the first national pizza chain to offer online ordering in the U.S., way back in 2002.


Papa Murphy's offers exclusively "take and bake" pizza, where the ingredients are put together in front of you, then you bake the pizza at home. It's the only large chain to offer this kind of pizza, and it's a smart business model—stores don't need pizza ovens!


California Pizza Kitchen

The first California Pizza Kitchen launched in 1985 in Beverly Hills, California. The focus is on gourmet pizza, including a line of relatively fancy frozen pizzas. In many locations, CPK also offers gluten-free crust as an option, making it a favorite for gluten-intolerant pizza lovers.


Pasquale “Pat” Giammarco founded Marco's Pizza in 1978. The Toledo, Ohio-based chain is now the country's fastest-growing pizza chain, with more than 800 franchised locations across the U.S. as well as in Puerto Rico, the Bahamas, and India. They specialize in what they've dubbed "Ah!thentic Italian."


In 1958, Bill Larson concluded four years of US Navy service and got a job at a pizza parlor in San Mateo, California. A year later, he founded his own: Round Table Pizza. Using a King Arthur theme, Round Table has often featured knights and shields in its logo. The knight theme originated when Larson saw drawings of King Arthur's court eating pizza.


The brainchild of two Georgia Tech students, Mellow Mushroom opened in Atlanta, Georgia as a one-off pizzeria. Today, it boasts more than 150 locations, and is regularly inching further westward.


Macaroni and cheese pizza from Cicis

Cicis is the world's largest pizza buffet chain. It features all sorts of wild stuff including a macaroni-and-cheese pizza.

Source: PMQ Pizza Magazine


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