Photo: avlxyz, Flickr
If you don't know the difference between sushi and sashimi, where the hell have you been living for the past 10 years?!?! Well it's time to move to the big city, country mouse, and replace that cheddar with some raw fish with vinegared rice.
Though we use the word "sushi" to refer to all the delicious stuff that is delivered to our wooden board at the sushi bar, the whole cuisine of fish, rice and otherwise, the word "sushi" actually refers to only the sweet, vinegared rice. Sometimes we do better and say "sushi" when referring to the pair of tiny rounded bricks of rice with slivers of fish draped over it. But that is more accurately called "nigiri sushi." If it's just fish without the sushi rice, then it's "sashimi."
Rolls are becoming increasingly popular – in essence, a sheet of nori (seaweed) with a layer of rice, fish and perhaps some other stuff, rolled into a cylinder then cut into pieces. Rolls are "maki sushi." Don't get me started on the latest breed of creative sushi rolls. I could write a dissertation on how I feel about California Rolls alone.
Since I mentioned the California Roll, I'll mention that these type of rolls with rice on the outside, are called "yukiwa-maki." And as long as we're getting technical, hand rolls are called "temaki sushi." But don't say these out loud. With the way things are in sushi bars now with whole rolls tempura-fried, smoked salmon, cream cheese and the Rainbow roll, you might give the sushi chef a heart attack for knowing such fancy words.