Fredericton — Two undercover operatives have completed their survey of Japanese cuisine in the province. The two, who cannot be named to protect their identities, were under the employment of Official Languages Commissioner Katherine d’Entremont, and have also been conducting province-wide audits of the availability of English-language services in various government offices.
But their initial report, to be published next week, is a comprehensive analysis of the Chirashi, Inari, Maki, Nare, Nigiri and Oshi sushi varieties, as well as the more flexible Uramki on offer throughout New Brunswick.
The province’s long struggle with reconciling its relationship with the centuries-old cooking tradition is well-known, and in addition to a global study of bilingual services, d’Entremont’s office has decided to grapple with this raw issue. Her secret operatives are willing participants.
“We were honoured to take on such a crucial task for the taxpayer,” said one. “It’s important that, wherever you are in New Brunswick, you have the choice. Access to quality sushi is vital to the future of our province, and I’m proud to have served the people.”
“And you know something else,” offered the other, “they say there’s no such thing as a free lunch, and… well, they’re wrong, there is. But this was hard work! You wouldn’t think it, but sushi can be very filling. I hope the taxpayers realize the extent of our sacrifice.”
Asked about their favourite spots, the two were initially tight-lipped. “I’m sworn to secrecy — you’ll have to read the report,” insisted the first. When pressed, the second was more candid. “I’m not supposed to tell you, but let’s just say that ‘access to quality’ means different things depending where you are in the province, and it’s not the usual suspects delivering on the quality,” he said while awkwardly coughing through the name of some New Brunswick cities.
“You didn’t hear it from me, but if someone were to find themselves in… say… Campbellton with the appetite of an emperor… #justsayin’.”
In addition to the important report on sushi, d’Entremont’s undercover francophone team is also busily preparing a long-anticipated report on the state of New Brunswick’s Chinese buffets.