A california roll is a flavourful type of sushi which consists of rice, seaweed, avocado, and crab meat. In some instances, a california roll may consist of roe. California rolls are usually in the form of maki sushi.

Most of the better sushi restaurants I have eaten at offer California rolls with a choice of either sesame seeds or tobiko (flying fish roe) coating the outside. The rice is almost invariably on the outside of the nori (seaweed). Bad sushi places will serve you California rolls with crab with a k.


Frater 219: You raise a good point. I have often seen such variations on the crab and avocado base theme. My favorite sushi restaurant serves cucumber in their California rolls, and I'm rather fond of them.

A California roll, in my experience, may be any norimaki which is both a "reverse maki" (i.e. has rice on the outside) and contains avocado and crabmeat. It may well contain other things; I've seen a rather overstuffed futomaki with crab, avocado, egg, and tofu advertised as a California roll.

The interesting thing about the California roll is that it is supposedly the first variety of sushi invented outside of Japan which also subsequently became popular in Japan -- or, at least, in Tokyo.

Aside from the type of sushi you will find at most sushi bars, a California Roll is the notional name for what is done when a driver proceeds through a stop sign at a near-stop - that is, s/he doesn't quite come to a complete stop when proceeding through. (This is illegal, but I won't tell if you won't.)

The etymology of the name is unclear, but it seems that it has something to do with the fact that nobody in California knows how to drive.

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