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
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 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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781592403639
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 04/17/2008
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 352
Product dimensions: 5.23(w) x 7.96(h) x 0.83(d)
Age Range: 18 - 14 Years

About the Author

Sasha Issenberg was a columnist for Slate and the Washington correspondent for Monocle. He covered the 2008 election as a national political correspondent for The Boston Globe, and his work has also appeared in New York magazine, The Atlantic, and The New York Times Magazine. His first book, The Sushi Economy, was published in 2007. In 2016, Issenberg co-founded Votecastr, which tracked the 2016 election in real time.

Table of Contents

Introduction: World Gone Raw     ix
The Freight Economy
Prince Edward Island, Canada: The Day of the Flying Fish, The birth of modern sushi     1
Tokyo, Japan: Tsukiji, Shopping at a global market     15
Narita, Japan: The Hub, How Narita Airport became Japan's top fishing harbor     31
Tokyo, Japan: Fast-Food Metropolis, Feeding sushi's hometown     47
The Food Economy
Los Angeles, California: Are You Ready for Rice Sandwiches?, How sushi became the favorite food of the capital of the twentieth century     79
Paradise Island, Bahamas: New Style, How a Japanese-Peruvian Angeleno created a global sushi vernacular     107
Austin, Texas: Lone Star, The education of a sushi shokunin in cowboy country     131
The Fish Economy
Gloucester, Massachusetts: Imperfect Storms, Weathering boom and bust in the hunt for Boston bluefin     165
Port Lincoln, Australia: Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch, How the tuna cowboys became tuna barons     195
Madrid, Spain: The Raw and the Crooked, On the trail of pirates, launderers, and tuna's black market     225
The Future Economy
Dalian, China: Port of Call, A Japanese mogul plots to take the world's last sushi frontier     253
Epilogue: Tokyo, Japan   Raw Deals     269
Acknowledgments     283
Notes     291
Bibliography     301
Index     309

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)

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