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Mistaken Musubi

October 19, 1995

I want to correct your item on spam musubi ("Cookstuff," Sept. 14). Musubi and sushi are two entirely different things. To the uninitiated, they may resemble each other, but the primary difference is that sushi always has vinegared rice, whereas musubi (aka " nigiri ") never does; the rice is plain.

There are no musubi bars as there are sushi bars. One doesn't drink sake with musubi as one would with sushi. Musubi are not topped with expensive raw fish. Musubi is a picnic-style snack food--a component of a casual meal or a late-night snack. Sushi is an art; musubi is a lowly, homey dish.

--SUSAN KANEGAWA, Montebello

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