NECESSITY, THE MOTHER OF ...
Remarkable how many really excellent dishes come from trying either to preserve food, or use scraps. Sausages, corned beef, Montreal smoked meat, ham, prosciutto, beef jerky, all ways of keeping meat from spoiling. Bouillabaisse, paella, both started as ways of using fish the rich folks wouldn't eat. Coq au vin is a way to make an old rooster edible. Hops in beer, which gives it its bitter taste, is a preservative; India Pale Ales and Russian Imperial Stouts are extra hoppy so the beer could survive the long trip from England to India or Russia.
And now I read in the Times
...it is worth noting that sushi began not as an elegant way to eat raw fish but as a way to preserve it. Packed between layers of cooked rice, whole raw fish fermented slowly instead of rotting, becoming lightly pickled. That pickled flavor is still a faint but essential element in sushi. It is why sushi rice is sprinkled with vinegar. [...]
Wasabi was originally added to sushi for its ostensible antibacterial properties: according to tradition, a dab of grated wasabi between the fish and the rice helped street vendors keep their sushi fresh and could mask any developing off-odors at the end of a long hot day.