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If you’re looking for a gift for the cook, or a good little read with your
morning tea, you can’t do better than this collection of offerings from a couple’s
lifetime of reading and cooking. A portrait of big eater Diamond Jim Brady, the
development of the microwave, pitting an olive, a homily on gleaning – one for every
day of the year, and each entry gives pleasure.
The story starts in medieval Japan with the development of proto sushi which is
whole fish pressed on top of rice in a specially designed weighted box through the
development of sushi rice and finally to how sushi developed in Japan after World
War II. Once you have this background the story moves to the United States. The
author delves into how sushi became an American food item now sold in grocery stores
across the country. Corson shows that it was the development of sushi schools in
California that made it possible for sushi chiefs to be trained more quickly than in
Japan. These schools also lead to sushi innovations that would eventually travel
back to Japan—the inside out roll being a classic example. Truly an American tale of
taking something very foreign and making it American.
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