Sushi and Beyond: What the Japanese Know about Cooking

Front Cover
Vintage, Apr 30, 2010 - Cooking, Japanese - 329 pages
11 Reviews

Japan is the pre-eminent food nation on earth. The Japanese go to the most extraordinary lengths and expense to eat the finest, most delectable, and downright freakiest food imaginable. Their creativity, dedication and ingenuity, not to mention courage in the face of dishes such as cod sperm, whale penis and octopus ice cream, is only now beginning to be fully appreciated in the sushi-saturated West, as are the remarkable health benefits of the traditional Japanese diet.

Inspired by Shizuo Tsuji's classic book, Japanese Cooking, A Simple Art, food and travel writer Michael Booth sets off to take the culinary pulse of contemporary Japan, learning fascinating tips and recipes that few westerners have been privy to before. Accompanied by with two fussy eaters under the age of six, he and his wife travel the length of the country, from bear-infested, beer-loving Hokkaido to snake-infested, seaweed-loving Okinawa.

Along the way, they dine with - and score a surprising victory over - sumos; meet the indigenous Ainu; drink coffee at the dog café; pamper the world's most expensive cows with massage and beer; discover the secret of the Okinawan people's remarkable longevity; share a seaside lunch with free-diving, female abalone hunters; and meet the greatest chefs working in Japan today. Less happily, they trash a Zen garden, witness a mass fugu slaughter, are traumatised by an encounter with giant crabs, and attempt a calamitous cooking demonstration for the lunching ladies of Kyoto. They also ask, 'Who are you?' to the most famous TV stars in Japan.

What do the Japanese know about food? Perhaps more than anyone on else on earth, judging by this fascinating and funny journey through an extraordinary food-obsessed country.

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Review: Sushi and Beyond: One Family's Remarkable Journey Through the Greatest Food Nation on Earth

User Review  - Nick Powers - Goodreads

I enjoyed it but it had a very "white male foreigner" feeling. It also needed one more proof-read. Some of the spelling was incorrect, and some of the information was weird, based on my own experience ... Read full review

Review: Sushi and Beyond: One Family's Remarkable Journey Through the Greatest Food Nation on Earth

User Review  - Scott Pike - Goodreads

Booth manages to touch on virtually every culinary legend and experience I gathered in living in Japan for six years. A little wide-eyed in places, but Booth's technical contributions made reading it ... Read full review

About the author (2010)

Michael Booth is a journalist and food writer who contributes regularly to numerous British and foreign magazines, including Condé Nast Traveller and Monocle, and has written for all of the UK's broadsheet newspapers. He is the author of three works of non-fiction, Just as Well I'm Leaving, Doing Without Delia, which was a BBC Radio 4 'Book of the Week', and Eat Pray Eat.

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