Here’s a word that didn’t make it into Merriam-Webster’s latest round of recruits: beefshi. Some call it the new kid on the block; others call it mean names. Nevertheless, the trend of beef-centric sushi presses forward. Will it catch on? An informal office survey suggests that nobody we know seems particularly eager, but Newsday says it’s all over Long Island.
Here’s who is excited about it: the North American Meat Institute, which has been hunting for a way to beef all over the sushi market’s nationwide success in getting people to look at fish in a healthy, innovative light. “Beef has always been popular among Americans and millennials and those aged 35-44, in particular, they seem to see the appeal of beef prepared in new and interesting ways,” says Janet Riley, Meat Institute Senior Vice President of Public Affairs and person who probably thinks eel is, like, weird. “When a new and not-yet-tasted recipe scores this well against a familiar food like sushi, it’s clear that beefshi is positioned to be a hot culinary trend in 2018 and beyond.”
Here are a few of the Meat Institute’s suggestions for lighting this fire:
Texas Asade (sic) Sushi: Roast beef rubbed with lime zest, ground cumin and garlic and rolls (sic) with cilantro, slivered jalapeños and onions, crumbled cotija cheese. Served with salsa.
Inside Out Wisconsin Maki: Sushi rice on the outside wrapped around a stick of summer sausage, a sliver of Colby cheese and shaved dill pickles. Served with brown spicy mustard.
New York Deli Roll: Corned beef takes the place of nori on the outside of the roll. Slivers of fresh horseradish and Swiss cheese are rolled into the middle. Roll the exterior in a few caraway seeds.
You roll the exterior in a few caraway seeds, I’m not doing any s**t of that nature. Oh yes, please replace the sustainable, nutrient-rich nori element with corned beef, the most popular beef of all time, praised multiple times in the Harry Potter series for being Ron Weasley’s favorite sandwich filling. Let us all reminisce on its succulence. I don’t even know where to find fresh horseradish, and I really don’t want whole slivers of it, dill pickle or cotija cheese in my sushi.
Here’s the big thing, though: technically, beefshi has existed for as long as negimaki (seen here in vegan), Japanese stuffed beef rolls and Korean bulgogi kimbap have. This is not a new invention, and crafting a portmanteau and matching hashtag won’t revitalize the concept of wrapping ingredients in beef. Trying to scare people away from the perceived dangers of raw fish seems like a cheap shot, too. “Beefshi recipes also use fully cooked and prepared beef products, making them safe and delicious options for beef fans of all ages,” adds Riley, who has obviously never heard of E. coli.
And sure, you could base your critique on cultural appropriation, but why waste your energy? Beefshi clearly isn’t an attempt to co-opt a centuries-old culinary tradition, or it wouldn’t be so forced and pointless, probably involving the crappiest, least-seasoned sushi rice you’ve ever encountered. Please continue to ignore it, and maybe it will go away.