To many people, Kimbap is less ringing a bell than Sushi and Sushi is also making less sense than California Roll.

To fewer people who know all these three names, they might still think they are similar stuff, all have some rice and vegetables rolled up with seaweed.

Maybe only some East Asian people can tell that, Sushi is Japanese and Kimbap is Korean. And maybe only Japanese and Korean people can explain, Sushi and Kimbap may look same, actually Sushi is made with raw fish, but Kimbap is made with cooked and/or pickled vegetables. But the biggest difference between both is seasoning of rice. The rice in the Kimbap is lightly seasoned with salt and sesame oil, but the rice in Sushi rolls is seasoned many amounts of vinegar, salt and sugar.

More Americans know California rolls, which, inside wrapped ingredients are cucumber, crab stick/salad and avocado, while the rice rolled this inside-out roll and sprinkled with toasted sesame or tobiko to form the outer layer. In the United States and Canada, the California roll has been influential in sushi’s global popularity. However, this non-traditional fusion cuisine has a disputed creator, either from Los Angeles, or Vancouver. But definitely not Japan.

Even after such detailed contrast, whoever are listening would still walk away with a conclusion that, still, they are all same, just rolls.

This was the same feeling I had when I tried so hard for so many times that Japanese Korean and Chinese are different, but eventually still got the response, “you are all same, just Asians.”

To many American, as much complicating it is to distinguish Kimbap and Sushi, or Japanese and Korean, with their limited knowledge and patience and time, it’s just so convenient to use California Roll to refer to this cuisine which brings so much delights to their taste buds.

Here, instead of criticizing people’s insufficient perception or cognition to distinguish these differences, I would prefer all of us go down to our most natural sensibility, to use our taste buds to know this world and its people. Our taste buds can tell best whether we like or enjoy all these cuisines, delicious in different ways but delightful in the same way.

That’s the need of all human beings, and humanism appreciates the beauty of diversity more than grudges over differences.  We might want to know what each food is made of and how it is made, not to distinguish their differences, but to better appreciate the diversity coming from the wisdom of people from every corner of the world. What we realize when tasting all these cuisines is, what a wonderful world this diversity has made it into!

We enjoy the good food, and want to try all kinds of good food. We don’t need a competition over the best, since no matter how good it is, no one would want to have this best food for 365 days. We don’t need the best food, because our taste buds want diversity, all different flavors for every meal.

Kimbap is Korean, Sushi is Japanese. California Roll is American Asian. But they are all the good food I want to order and enjoy!