July 2012

"The Story of Sushi" will make you hungry

Raw fish and rice have never been so fascinating!

Trevor Corson's book about sushi is enticing and fascinating enough that I would caution you not to read it unless you have a source of sushi nearby. Luckily, as he details in one chapter, there is sushi almost everywhere in America these days, with a crazy proliferation of sushi bars in even third and fourth tier towns. Not to mention the ready-made sushi which can often be found in the refrigerated case of your grocery store's deli section.

There are a lot of angles you can write about sushi, and Corson pursues them all. From the earliest history of sushi's origins as fermented fish, to the exacting formulas that sushi chefs use to season their rice, and the biological details of the bluefin and yellowfin tuna. Miso, proper knife technique, and the religious implications of rice in an animist culture are only a few of the disparate subjects that Corson lays out in fascinating detail. It reminds you how complex our world really is, how much is going on behind the scenes that culminates in the delicious wedge of rice and fish sitting on your plate.