10 March 2014

Sushi and Beyond: What the Japanese Know About Cooking by Michael Booth [2010]

A travel book about a culinary journey through Japan.  Very light but better-written than most books ploughing the furrow of "Englishman takes a wry look at a foreign country and its occasionally hilarious ways".

I picked this up because I am mildly obsessed with Japanese food.  It is exotic, but also clean and healthy - whenever I eat it I feel like a better version of myself.  Reading this book reminded me of the Japanese cookery classes I went on a couple of years ago, which completely changed my attitude to cooking and shopping for food.  The author describes the experience of being in Japan very well and reading it made me want to go to Japan and visit the Tsukiji Fish Market before it closes.  And to eat okonomiyaki again.

This book also made me think about reading as escapism and in particular travel books and recipe books.  I have a slightly ambivalent attitude to these sort of books - I love reading them but I am also aware that they tend towards feeding a dissatisfaction with the here and now.

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