• 2022.07.07
It’s probably ludicrous for Japanese people to hear this – perhaps it’s just as bad as for us Italians to hear about pineapple on pizza or chicken on pasta - but, in Genoa, the new trend when it comes to “ethnic” food is Brazilian sushi.
Yes, you have heard it right and I apologize if it’s a fusion food which sounds crazy to you.
This Japanese-Brazilian cuisine has been popular here for about a couple of years. What today appears to be a trend, or a bizarre combination is instead a consolidated tradition it seems.
But Brazilian sushi is not the only fusion we find here in Genoa.
Thanks to the fact that our beautiful city is a port city and a melting pot of cultures, many are the culinary crossovers we can see.
Among the main recipes resulting from fusion cuisine we must certainly include tuna with sesame (which blends the Italian tradition with the Japanese one, marinating the fish with soy sauce, sugar and white wine vinegar), chickpea curry (where our legumes are combined with Indian spices such as curry, cumin, coriander and turmeric), up to the latest experimentation on the subject, the pizza with kebab, which I frown upon but which is becoming popular.
We must keep in mind that fusion means the union of distant cultures and culinary techniques, within the same country but also of countries and traditions very far from each other.
It means broadening horizons, taking what is good from every culture and merging it into an experiment to enjoy diversity and to make other flavors we are not used to.
Brazilian sushi apparently was born when a group of Japanese set out to Brazil on board of a ship which left Kobe.
It got to Brazil with less than one thousand Japanese immigrants and today, more than a hundred years after the first landing, Brazil has one of the largest Japanese communities outside of Japan with more than one and a half million Brazilians with Japanese roots.
From this cultural intersection it was inevitable that gastronomic fusions would also arise.
The Temaki, this is the name of Brazilian sushi, is the fruit of this meeting.

Brazilian sushi is usually topped with sauce

I don’t know how popular it is within Brazil but here in Italy it became famous here in Genoa and for a reason: Genoa has the largest community of Brazilians in Italy and, due to the fact that Genoese people love fish and seafood and it’s always so fresh, it is the ideal place to develop this cuisine.
Brazilian sushi combines Brazilian creativity with Japanese tradition and as always happens with opposites, it has no limits of interpretation.
Brazilian sushi uses fish, spices, sauces, but also fruit, vegetables and other surprising combinations.
It’s a triumph of flavors which combines fresh fish and tropical fruit.
Genoa is an harbor city and it is maybe for this reason that it became the first city to ‘welcome’ this kind of cuisine so much so that it became a true trend and there are now dozens of Brazilian sushi places in our town.
In Genoa, Temaki, a cone of seaweed stuffed with rice, fish and other ingredients has practically become a fast food dish and a to-go-to comfort food, much healthier than burgers and fries.
Many are now the Brazilian sushi restaurants appearing around town and the names evoke Brazil and Japan.
They offer sushi rolls with exotic flavors such as a combination of salmon, chives, mango, guava…always accompanied by caipirinha or Brazilian beer.
Some of them are called temakerie (Temaki eateries) and in one of them I have even seen a contamination (fusion maybe sounds better) between Italian flavors and sushi such as with the Temaki salmon with dried tomatoes and basil leaves.
It is worth a try and it’s nice to see young chefs experimenting with new flavors all the time, especially when they are combining local fresh ingredients with exotic ones.


  • Patrizia Margherita
  • Jobtranslator, interpreter, teacher

Although she was born in Italy, she is half Italian and half American and she has become a "multicultural person" who can speak five languages. She has lived and worked in the US, Brazil, Australia, France and the UK so she considers herself a citizen of the world. When she is not teaching or translating, she likes cooking Italian food, hiking and traveling around the world...She has traveled to 80 countries and counting!

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