October 16th, 2010

inverarity

Book Review: The Story of Sushi: An Unlikely Saga of Raw Fish and Rice, by Trevor Corson

One-line summary: Sushi is yummy, but watch out for tapeworms!



Reviews:

Amazon: Average: 4.4. Mode: 5 stars.
Goodreads: Average: 3.74. Mode: 4 stars.


Everything you never knew about sushi—its surprising origins, the colorful lives of its chefs, the bizarre behavior of the creatures that compose it—is revealed in this entertaining documentary account by the author of the highly acclaimed The Secret Life of Lobsters.

When a twenty-year-old woman arrives at America’s first sushi-chef training academy in Los Angeles, she is unprepared for the challenges ahead: knives like swords, instructors like samurai, prejudice against female chefs, demanding Hollywood customers—and that’s just the first two weeks.

In this richly reported story, journalist Trevor Corson shadows several American sushi novices and a master Japanese chef, taking the reader behind the scenes as the students strive to master the elusive art of cooking without cooking. With the same eye for drama and humor that Corson brings to the exploits of the chefs, he delves into the biology and natural
history of the creatures of the sea. He illuminates sushi’s beginnings as an Indo-Chinese meal akin to cheese, describes its reinvention in bustling 19th-century Tokyo as a cheap fast food, and tells the story of the pioneers who brought it to America. He shows this unlikely meal now exploding into the American heartland just as the long-term future of sushi may be unraveling.

The Story of Sushi is a compelling tale of human determination as well as a delectable smorgasbord of surprising food science, intrepid reporting, and provocative cultural history.


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Verdict: There are two kinds of people: those who like sushi, and those who are sad, sad pitiful souls. I recommend this book for anyone in the first category.