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The Sushi Economy: Globalization and the Making of a Modern Delicacy
     

The Sushi Economy: Globalization and the Making of a Modern Delicacy

by Sasha Issenberg
 

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The highly acclaimed exploration of sushi’s surprising history, global business, and international allure

One generation ago, sushi’s narrow reach ensured that sports fishermen who caught tuna in most of parts of the world sold the meat for pennies as cat food. Today, the fatty cuts of tuna known as toro are among the planet’s most coveted

Overview

The highly acclaimed exploration of sushi’s surprising history, global business, and international allure

One generation ago, sushi’s narrow reach ensured that sports fishermen who caught tuna in most of parts of the world sold the meat for pennies as cat food. Today, the fatty cuts of tuna known as toro are among the planet’s most coveted luxury foods, worth hundreds of dollars a pound and capable of losing value more quickly than any other product on earth. So how did one of the world’s most popular foods go from being practically unknown in the United States to being served in towns all across America, and in such a short span of time?

A riveting combination of culinary biography, behind-the- scenes restaurant detail, and a unique exploration of globalization’s dynamics, the book traces sushi’s journey from Japanese street snack to global delicacy. After traversing the pages of The Sushi Economy, you’ll never see the food on your plate—or the world around you—quite the same way again.

Editorial Reviews

Steve Johnson
One of those rare books that reveals a vast and fascinating system behind something you've taken entirely for granted. . . . Brilliant.
Wall Street Journal
Eminently readable . . . anecdote-rich and quirky.
Entertainment Weekly
An authoritative, expertly reported account of this increasingly global business, with the smart elegance of a dinner at Nobu.
Publishers Weekly
In this intriguing first book, Philadelphia-based journalist Issenberg roams the globe in search of sushi and takes the reader on a cultural, historical and economic journey through the raw-fish trade that reads less like economics and more like an entertaining culinary travelogue. In the years since the end of WWII, the practical protein-and-rice delicacy once unknown outside Japan has become so commonplace that the elements of its trade affect a far-flung global network of fanatics, chefs, tuna ranchers and pirates. While the West reached out for things Japanese, from management techniques to Walkmans, the growth of the market for quality fish, especially maguro, the bluefin tuna beloved by sushi eaters everywhere, paralleled Japan's rise from postwar ruin to 1980s economic powerhouse and into its burst-bubble present. Issenberg follows every possible strand in this worldwide web of history, economics and cuisine-an approach that keeps the book lively with colorful places and characters, from the Tokyo fish market to the boats of North Atlantic fishermen, from tuna ranches off the coast of Australia to the sushi bars in Austin, Tex. He weaves the history of the art and cuisine of sushi throughout, and his smart, lively voice makes the most arcane information fascinating. (May) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781592403639
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
04/17/2008
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
352
Sales rank:
857,056
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.25(h) x 0.75(d)
Age Range:
18 - 14 Years

What People are Saying About This

Douglas Brinkley
Everywhere I travel in the world there seems to be a sushi bar awaiting me. Now, for the first time, I understand the culinary phenomenon with informed eyes and stomach. Sasha Issenberg's The Sushi Economy is a riveting and witty inquiry into the raw fish explosion. As a non-fiction stylist, he's first-rate. A must read! (Douglas Brinkley, Professor of History at Tulane University, bestselling author of The Great Deluge)
Franklin Foer
Sasha Issenberg has produced an exquisite specimen of culinary anthropology--and literary journalism and political economy. He reveals fascinating wrinkles in the global economy with wit and color. (Franklin Foer, bestselling author of How Soccer Explains the World)
Mark Bittman
Sasha Issenberg's The Sushi Economy is a perfectly timed book about two important topics. Like a good piece of sushi, it's simple, complex, and full of delicious surprises. (Mark Bittman, author of The Best Recipes in the World and How to Cook Everything)
Steven Johnson
This is one of those rare books that reveals a vast and fascinating system behind something you've entirely taken for granted. The Sushi Economy is not just a book about our growing appetite for raw fish -- it's a brilliant look at globalization in practice. (Steven Johnson, bestselling author of The Ghost Map and Everything Bad is Good for You)

Meet the Author

Sasha Isenberg is a journalist at The Boston Globe and has written for Slate, The Washington Monthly, Inc., Philadelphia, and George, where he served as a contributing editor.

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