Zen of Fish: the story of sushi from samurai to supermarket by Trevor Corson
Trevor Corson explores the world of sushi, from past to present, from Japan to America in The Zen of Fish. Through following students at the California Sushi Academy, the author explores the bonds between sushi chefs and their customers as well as the interpersonal skills the students must gain in order to be confident, successful chefs.
Not only does the author delve into the relationships in the sushi world, but he thoroughly explores the techniques of sushi-making, details on popular fish for sushi, and the general history of sushi. The Zen of Fish shows that while Americans have innovated sushi and created a unique style, they are also an important part of preserving traditional sushi.
Corson’s narrative style brings the reader on this journey through sushi school and the history of sushi providing numerous facts without boring the reader or dragging the story. The Zen of Fish includes detailed source notes and bibliography and a useful appendix on how to eat sushi!
I really enjoyed reading this book, though some of the parts when talking about cleaning and filleting the fish were a tad gross. Also the description of how soy sauce is made is a little off-putting; not enough to stop me from eating fish or soy sauce though! I’m looking forward to the next time my friends and I go out for sushi so that I can eat sushi the way it’s meant to be eaten (according to the book) – not to say that the author says there’s only one way to eat it, but just that the way most Americans (and Canadians) eat sushi is different from traditional sushi because of our different palate and the chefs altering how and what they make for us!