From Publishers Weekly
Corson (The Secret Life of Lobsters) spent months at a "sushi school" run out of a Japanese restaurant in Hermosa Beach, Calif., observing the students as they learned how to prepare a seemingly endless variety of fish. Although the reporting focuses primarily on Kate, a young woman who struggles to overcome her lack of confidence, many of the other students get a turn in the spotlight, as do the restaurant's owner and the head instructor. This would make for a riveting enough story on its own, but Corson beautifully intersperses the drama with lessons about the history and science of each fish the class encounters, along with the rice and wasabi. He also reveals that just about everything Americans know about eating sushi is wrong, down to using chopsticks to dunk their fish in soy sauce. Foodies will find dozens of useful tips to enhance their appreciation of "the fast food of old Tokyo," especially if they entrust an experienced chef to prepare an omakase meal for them. The combination of culinary insights and personal drama makes for one of the more compelling food-themed books in recent years.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Americans from as recently as 20 years ago would be astounded to learn that the present generation would regularly sit down to a meal consisting principally of raw fish. Today, it's hard to find an American city that does not host at least one thriving sushi bar, and even some supermarkets feature a take-home sushi section. Following a student through the program of the decade-old California Sushi Academy, Corson uncovers the history of sushi, from its humble beginnings in Japan to its present worldwide ubiquity. Starting from Los Angeles' Little Tokyo, sushi initially attracted a celebrity following intrigued by sushi's novelty and minimalism. Stateside sushi chefs invented new varieties keyed to American proclivities and ingredients and, in a wanton affront to tradition, began to violate the inflexible male-only order of skilled sushi chefs. Americans may still drench their rice with too much soy sauce, but their hunger for more and better-quality sushi keeps on growing. Knoblauch, Mark Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved