Can you tell when is the best season for California rolls?

Cultural News, 2011 April Issue

Andy Matsuda’s Sushi School / Chef’s cutting board

By Andy Matsuda

Chef Andy Matsuda Sushi Chef Institute

Chef Andy Matsuda (Couetesy of Sushi Chef Institute)

The world is concerned about radiation leaks from the crippled nuclear power plants in Fukushima, Japan. I am watching the sequence of events of the nuclear accident everyday.

This is a very sad thing. But at the same time, it is a good time to think about our eating habits and our environment.

A strong element of Japanese cuisine is seasonableness. Crops in season are the best foods to eat and the most economical. Harvesting in the neighborhood results in fresh food, and time and gas is not wasted in delivering the goods to the consumers.

When you are eating California Rolls, do you know which kind of avocado is best? The dark skinned avocado is harvested during the summer in California. There are other kinds of avocado raised in California, too, and many avocados are imported from South American countries.  But my recommendation is the dark skinned avocado in California

Chefs of Japanese cuisine are taught meticulously how to find the best seasonable foods and how to cook them in the best way.

In our fast food culture, we lose a sense of seasons or knowledge about seasonable foods. If more people would become aware of the selections of seasonable foods, our diets would be healthier. And we may find more enjoyment in cooking during each season.

Andy Matsuda is the founder and the chief instructor of Sushi Chef Institute in Los Angeles. For more information, visit or