As far as sushi hybrids go, there’s a lot of flexibility. Sushi burritos are now pretty widely accepted, and even Mexican sushi restaurants have made inroads. Americans top our sushi with mayonnaise. We are not purists in any sense. So in this spirit, the North American Meat Institute (NAMI) would like to present for our consideration, Beefshi, the “new sushi-style concept that features convenient beef products like pastrami, roast beef, summer sausage, hot dogs, corned beef and bologna prepared in rolls with rice and vegetables.” One more time for the cheap seats: bologna sushi.
Beefshi is the North American Meat Institute’s campaign to promote March as National Deli Meat Month (what, you didn’t get us a card yet?). And while it sounds like a jokey stunt someone spitballed in a “there’s no such thing as bad ideas” marketing meeting, the Beefshi campaign appears to be entirely legit. There’s a detailed booklet for foodservice professionals with step-by-step instructions and nutritional information for creations like the Wisconsin Inside-Out Maki (summer sausage, cheddar, pickle garnish); New York Deli Roll (corned beef; Swiss; horseradish); and Sleeping Dog Sushi (hot dog served sashimi-style atop rice, with ketchup). The brochure notes these recipes were developed by a Culinary Institute Of America-trained chef, and brags that “Beefshi videos have been greeted enthusiastically online and in social media with countless consumers asking ‘Where can I buy this?’”
NAMI is definitely thinking outside the box on this one, we have to say. Presumably, past Deli Meat Month promotions have focused on, you know, sandwiches, maybe even omelets or something. But for these creative minds, there was no denying the creative but completely natural substitution of processed meat for pristine raw fish.
“Americans have always loved beef and, over the past few decades, their love of sushi has catapulted,” Eric Mittenthal of the North American Meat Institute said in a statement announcing the campaign. “We couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate National Deli Meat Month than focusing on the marriage of beef and sushi.”
We are not entirely yucking on this yum. Rice and salty meat go well together, with Spam musubi the prime example of this. Spam isn’t that far from a hot dog or other salty sausage, ergo… maybe this works? Someone try the Wisconsin roll and report back, please.