- Paperback: 336 pages
- Publisher: Jonathan Cape (28 May 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0224081888
- ISBN-13: 978-0224081887
- Product Dimensions: 15.4 x 2.5 x 23.5 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,077,043 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Sushi and Beyond: What the Japanese Know About Cooking Paperback – 28 May 2009
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More About the Author
He has written five books: 'Just As Well I'm Leaving - To the Orient with Hans Christian Andersen', which was nominated for an Irish Times first time author award; 'Sacré Cordon Bleu', a BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week; 'Sushi and Beyond', which won a Guild of Food Writers award and has recently become a best seller in translation in Japan; 'Eat, Pray, Eat', which was nominated for a British Press Award; and the forthcoming 'The Almost Nearly Perfect People - The Truth About the Nordic Miracle'.
He has written for all of the UK broadsheet newspapers, as well as numerous magazines in the UK and abroad including Condé Nast Traveller and Monocle, for whom he is currently a correspondent. His books have been translated into several languages.
He is married with two sons.
"Wins you over with his sheer enthusiasm." -- Joseph Woods, The Independent
A fascinating and hilarious journey through the extraordinary culinary landscape of Japan.
Winner of the Guild of Food Writers Kate Whiteman Award for the best book on food and travel. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
This book is a food travel diary, which is a good thing as it differentiates it from a simple culture/cookbook. Booth seems to have some good credentials when it comes to cooking, as well as a witty writing style and a gaijin-only daring, making his story both fascinating and funny. It covers all of the subjects mentioned above, as well as seaweed, the fish market, MSG, vegetables, ramen, beef, wasabi and regional specialities amongst others. He even manages to visit the best secret restaurant in the whole of Japan.
He also interviews famous chefs, protective farmers and celebrated experts. Every story is a mixture of passion for food, and a touch of sadness, for the loss of interest in traditional Japanese cuisine.
With a base of good research and a dash of humility and humor, Booth manages to both engage and excite the reader... and their tastebuds.
The story covers almost all the typical cuisine from northern to far southern territory with in-depth insight and abundant experience that even normal Japanese rarely encounter. I found a lot of things, including what is not open to public thru reading this book. I would like to recommend this vivid report which an ordinary Japanese would be unable to notice to those who have interests not merely with Japanese food but with the country itself.
As someone who has worked in professional kitchens he has generally good insight into food, and it is nice to see that he does not get too carried away with the mystique e.g. he also seems to find fugu a fish that is as much valued for its sense of danger as its inherent taste, or lack thereof. On the other hand some of the travel observations seem peculiar - Japanese taxi drivers are unfailingly polite, but many are utterly clueless about finding even straightforward destinations (the stagnant economy has lured many non-professional cabbies into this profession), so his comments here seem strange, or at least very different to my own experiences in Japan. It is also a pity that he writes reverently about an invitation-only kaiseki restaurant that, by definition, few will be able to try.Read more ›
Instead, I got a series of vignettes, too short to offer any significant information which seemed to mainly focus on the author's random thoughts rather than any true, meaningful cultural experiences. Of course, me not liking the author's tone is a personal preference I grant you but one thing I couldn't abide was the author's rudeness in certain situations.
For example, at the beginning of the book, the author says he will try to avoid being offensive towards the Japanese, yet later in the book he goes completely against this as he writes dialogue spoken by a Japanese person using r's instead of l's and vice versa - unnecessary and offensive in my opinion. Another episode that also left a feeling of distaste in my mouth is when the author has lunch with (what he assumes to be) a gay man, and precedes to be completely ignorant and homophobic when he runs away from the man, despite the man kindly paying for his lunch and seemingly interested in what the author has to say. If he was truly gay and romantically interested in the author, the author should have had the decency to state he was straight, married and not interested and continue acting like a civilised person but instead, he lies and runs away as quickly as possible, (using the excuse he wants a second lunch rather than the fact that being in the presence of a gay man makes him uncomfortable).Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Fantastic book. Great humour and ideal for an insight into Japanese foodie culture.Published 7 days ago by L. H. Kilmister
I bought this after seeing NHK cartoon, and so it wasn't quite what I expected. Nevertheless I enjoyed it a lot and it is very informative and eye opening. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Jk
If you like Japan, If you like Japanease food you must read this book. It's amezing, it's awesomePublished 15 months ago by carlyle
I was given this book before an upcoming trip to Japan and really wasn't sure if I'd like it being aimed more at food enthusiasts. Read morePublished 19 months ago by LJ Bale
I loved this book as it captured so well the wide variety of Japanese food available, the history of certain foods and how some foods might fall out of fashion. Read morePublished 21 months ago by Max Zen
This was a great book which I read and actually read again. It is very detailed and enjoyable and gives a colourful picture of life and food in Japan in a humourous way.Published 22 months ago by sylvia s