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Now you know: Nagoya aquarium exhibits sushi toppings alongside still-swimming equivalents

Sushi "neta" toppings displayed alongside the fish they come from are seen on display at the Port of Nagoya Public Aquarium on March 28, 2019. (Mainichi/Shinichiro Kawase)

NAGOYA -- Fish and other undersea denizens one might spot on a sushi menu as "neta," or topping, have got their own exhibition at the Port of Nagoya Public Aquarium here, set to continue until June 2.

The special exhibit, entitled "Neta grand gathering; the aquarium goes into depth on sushi's varieties!" features some 200 examples of 23 species that make a winning combination with sushi rice. Replicas of their culinary equivalents are placed in front of the living sea creature exhibits. At each of the six corners of the space, visitors are introduced to local "specialties of Aichi Prefecture" including Japanese tiger prawns, puffer fish and littleneck clams.

In the size comparison corner, a model of the huge spider crab stands next to a sign reading, "From one spider crab we can make 100 gunkan-maki," or sushi with a strip of "nori" dried seaweed wrapped around its circumference. A single snow crab is said to yield nine sushi pieces.

More ordinary toppings, such as horse mackerel, thread-sail filefish and Japanese sea bass, are also on display. Replicas of sushi variations dreamed up by staff at the aquarium are shown alongside the creatures used for them and videos of how they can be prepared.

Takahiro Hoshino, a handler at the aquarium and the exhibit head, told the Mainichi Shimbun, "In this space, people have the opportunity to appreciate the ingredients they eat as living things. I want them to come out saying how delicious it looks."

(Japanese original by Shinichiro Kawase, Nagoya News Center)

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