The Sushi Economy (Issenberg): Book Review
Whether you’re an avid sushi lover, or just intrigued by this globally loved dish, The Sushi Economy: Globalization and the Making of a Modern Delicacy by Sasha Issenberg will satiate all your curiosity as far as this Japanese dish is concerned; this sushi biography is thoroughly researched, well articulated and makes an interesting read.
Sushi was, at one point, just a local Japanese street food and the tuna fish that is most commonly used for making it, was sold at scrap value. However, currently, this fish is one of the most expensive ones in the market while sushi has found its way to the best Michelin star restaurants, scattered all over the world. The book traces the sushi’s journey from humble beginnings to becoming one of the most luxurious dishes on the menu in the 21st Century.
Being an experienced and a credible journalist, Issenberg, has brought the same curiosity and an interesting writing style to this book. The vivid and detailed narration takes into account every aspect of the sushi business – right from the catching and transportation of fish to serving that sushi on the plate! Readers will be able to vividly imagine the Tsukiji fish market and the religious arrangement of the dish on the plate. It’s all out there for the reader to imagine, smell and taste.
The book vividly discusses the Tsukiji fish market that covers 57 acres in the capital city of Japan and trade worth $6 billion are annually carried out over here. Along with that, it beautifully narrates how the sushi has changed over the years – from taking birth in the 19th century to being revamped when Japanese planes came back with North Atlantic Bluefin Tuna instead of flying back empty. Meant for the foodie, the economist and the hungry reader as well, this book is nothing less than a delight to read.
What sets this book apart from most of the other sushi guides is that it is not just a bland narrative on the development of sushi into a globally loved dish, but also takes into account the tiny details like kitchen scenes in the restaurants as well as how it has taken advantage of globalization to enjoy the enviable position that it has today. A bonus is that this book also discusses the economics of sushi deeper than many others out there on the bookshelves.
Sasha Issenberg has also written several other highly rated non-fiction books.
Related 27Press Book:
12 Lessons On Sushi