“And you tell me, friends, that there is no disputing taste and tasting? But all life is a dispute over taste and tasting!”
– Zarathustra, in Thus Spoke Zarathustra, by Friedrich Nietzsche, an allusion to the Latin adage “de gustibus non est disputandum” or “there is no disputing about tastes”
Buenos Aires – A few months ago I wrote about a delivery only sushi service called Furusato that came highly recommended from several local friends. I liked it quite a bit and have used the service again. It takes a bit of time to recieve the delivery, but it arrives absolutely fresh, and the combinations are quite good, with several offerings that include more than just the usual salmón or salmón y blanco – things like shrimp, egg, vegetable, octopus, etc. One of my regular readers weighed in on another option that he liked quite a bit and recommended as of equal quality and half the price. On that recommendation, a friend of mine gave it a shot and reported back that the sushi delivered was borderline inedible – not because of lack of fish quality, but because, as she put it, “I have no idea how they did it, but they made everything taste sweet. Really sweet!”.
So, the trial of this alternative got moved to the nether recesses of my brain until late last evening when I was in the mood for sushi, which isn’t a good bet with Furusato’s two-hour delivery window. I remembered the recommendation, and my friend’s comments, and decided I may as well give them a try. So, I went to the website for Sasori, which is quite pretty, and looked through the offerings, which are intriguing and indeed less expensive, though not by half (and they weren’t at the time either, it’s not the last four months of inflationary prices), and picked a basic salmón y blanco combination, plus a salmon skin roll and some gyoza (dumplings). Then, I sat down to await yet another furtive delivery.
Slightly over an hour later a young man on a motorscooter arrived. He seemed amazed when I tipped him for the delivery. Note to my fellow expats… I know tipping isn’t required on deliveries here, but would it kill you to give them a few pesos? A couple? I get this reaction regularly from delivery folk, and I’m only talking about something in the 2-5 peso range – usually it’s just the change from what I ordered, yet person after person thanks me and tells me that virtually no one ever tips them, and if they do, it’s often a 25 or 50 centavo piece.
The packaging is well designed for sushi delivery, and it’s all quite pretty. My only quibble is the little bottle of soy sauce is sort of a wide mouthed jar, which made it hard to pour in small quantities. But that’s a quibble, and what’s a quibble but “a petty distinction or an irrelevant objection”? The gyoza were still fairly hot, and tasty, though I found them a trifle chewy. The sushi, I come down somewhere between the two viewpoints above. The fish is fresh and the pieces are well made. There’s plenty of wasabi and ginger included. The combination is varied – a little salmon, a little tuna (not raw tuna, but the cooked/canned type), some white fish – no shrimp, egg, or vegetable pieces – and is a mix of sushi and sashimi (which wasn’t specified one way or the other on the menu).
On the other hand, I know exactly what my friend Barbara meant. There is a certain level of sweetness to each piece that is above and beyond the usual. Sushi rice is standardly made with an infusion of rice vinegar and mirin, the latter being a sweet rice wine. At Sasori, they clearly use more mirin than I’m thrilled with, plus several pieces were brushed with a glaze that probably included more of it. I didn’t find it over the top sweet, but I did find it sweet enough that I’d likely not order from them again. It was almost as if they were trying to mask the flavor of the fish, not for, I think, lack of quality, but perhaps just to make the sushi taste a bit less like raw fish.