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CompleteMartialArts.com - The Zen of Fish: The Story of Sushi, from Samurai to Supermarket

The Zen of Fish: The Story of Sushi, from Samurai to Supermarket
List Price: $24.95
Our Price: $16.47
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Manufacturer: HarperCollins
Average Customer Rating: Average rating of 4.5/5Average rating of 4.5/5Average rating of 4.5/5Average rating of 4.5/5Average rating of 4.5/5

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Binding: Hardcover
Dewey Decimal Number: 641.692
EAN: 9780060883508
ISBN: 0060883502
Label: HarperCollins
Manufacturer: HarperCollins
Number Of Items: 1
Number Of Pages: 384
Publication Date: 2007-05-29
Publisher: HarperCollins
Release Date: 2007-05-29
Studio: HarperCollins

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Editorial Reviews:

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 nineteenth-century Tokyo as a cheap fast food, and tells the story of the pioneers who brought it to America. He shows how this unlikely meal is now exploding into the American heartland just as the long-term future of sushi may be unraveling.

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




Spotlight customer reviews:

Customer Rating: Average rating of 3/5Average rating of 3/5Average rating of 3/5Average rating of 3/5Average rating of 3/5
Summary: Informative, but with some annoying passages.
Comment: After hearing Trevor Corson speak on the radio about sushi, I picked up his book because I wanted to learn more about one of my favorite foods. The Zen of Fish follows a new student through a sushi course at the California Sushi Academy. Mixed in with the story of the student and her classmates are historical facts and other information about things related to sushi such as fish, knives, rice, and etiquette.

While I was reading the book, I couldn't help feeling annoyed by the passages about Kate, the student going through the school. She's inept, clumsy, ditzy, and just not that interesting. I was more interested in the actual tidbits of information about sushi than Kate's classes.

I would have rated this book higher if it only contained the informational passages about the Japanese cuisine. Those parts were interesting and worth reading for anyone who likes sushi, but the other parts felt like a waste of time. Corson might have been trying to get readers to relate to Kate, but he would have been more successful if he had chosen a stronger student from the class to follow.

Customer Rating: Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5
Summary: Great book
Comment: You will never look the same way at Sushi again. Great Book. Highly recommended.

Customer Rating: Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5
Summary: Nice Blend of People, Fish & Sushi
Comment: Not sure what a few of these reviewers expected from this book. Certainly this is not a novel. What you have in this book is a means to learn more about sushi, rolls and sashimi; More about the sea creatures and vegetation that adorn sushi; more about the Sushi Academy in California; More about sushi chefs; and more about the environment of all of this blended together. This book met those needs for me. I feel what author Corson has done here, is wrapped a lot of potentially dry information about sushi and fish and etc. around people who brim with personality and fun. Sushi is a very traditional food...but it is also a very fun food. Corson shows us this. In the journey of doing so, all the potentially dry facts are brought to life by the stories he weaves together...most brilliantly in my opinion. If you are new to sushi or maybe even well versed in the front end of the sushi restaraunt...you will enjoy this book. I learned a LOT. Armed with this book and a great Ken Sushi DVD offered on Amazon and books like The Complete Book Of Sushi by Hideo Dekura, Brigid Treloar, and Ryuichi Yoshii...I now feel comfortable and inspired enough to sit in front of a sushi chef at a sushi bar and even try to make my own! Good job Trevor...and thank you. Now...on to Tsukiji...another intriguing book I see.


Customer Rating: Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5
Summary: "I didn't know that about sushi!"
Comment: I learned quite a bit about sushi from reading this book. The history of sushi is rich, interesting, and revealing. For example, did you know that sushi started out as a way of preserving fish in rice? And, according to Corson, it tasted like aged cheese?! (And wait till you read about how miso is made...you'll never order it again without having a certain image in your head!) Trevor Corson does a fine job in explaining the evolution of sushi and the array of fish that has made it such a favorite to so many people outside of Japan. Corson also traces the story of sushi chef in-training, Kate, and her classmates at a southern California sushi school; this gives the book a personal touch. If you love sushi, as I do, you will enjoy this book.

Customer Rating: Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5
Summary: Offers many intriguing insights
Comment: Sushi's origins, chiefs, and the fish which comprise the sushi dishes are reviewed here in THE ZEN OF FISH, an excellent survey by a journalist who shadows several American sushi novices and a Japanese master chef, revealing their drama, secrets and influences. From sushi's origins as an Indo-Chinese mainstay meal to its evolution to modern times, THE ZEN OF FISH offers many intriguing insights into how sushi came to the American table, and will reach not only general interest public libraries strong in culinary history, but college-level collections strong in either Asian history and culture or food preparation.

Diane C. Donovan
California Bookwatch


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