Although many believe the Japanese discovered Sushi, it actually originated in Southeast Asia, sometime during the 2nd century A.D. The people would cure their meat and fish and wrap it in rice to preserve its freshness, thus not needing to keep the meat and fish refrigerated. Doing it this way meant it could be preserved for several months longer than being cured traditionally, and when the time came to eat the meat and fish they would discard the rice.
This method spread through the rest of China and eventually crossed over to Japan, where they added Sake (Japanese rice wine). A couple of centuries later they started using vinegar in this process, and this allowed them to eat the rice with the cured meat and fish. Only in 1820 did chefs start serving raw fish with rice officially known as Edo-Sushi.
Over the past 25-30 years Sushi has grown in popularity mainly because of the great taste and health benefits. With Western influences Sushi has become much more varied with new rolls being invented all the time, and due to the increase in demand we can now find over 200 Sushi restaurants scattered across Cape Town for our enjoyment.