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215 × 162 × 17 mm
224 pages
65 illustrations, 59 in colour
12 Apr 2021

Oishii The History of Sushi Eric C. Rath

Sushi and sashimi are by now global sensations and have become perhaps the best-known of Japanese foods, but they are also the most widely misunderstood. Oishii: The History of Sushi reveals that sushi began as a fermented food with a sour taste, used as a means to preserve fish. This book, the first history of sushi in English, traces sushi’s development from China to Japan and then internationally, and its evolution from street food to high-class cuisine. Included are historical and original recipes that display the diversity of sushi and how to prepare it. An expert on Japanese food history, Eric C. Rath has written a must-read for understanding sushi’s past and how it became one of the world’s greatest cuisines.

‘Without a doubt the most definitive book I have ever read on what is now one of the world’s most popular foods. Eric Rath’s Oishii is not only well written and packed with fascinating delicious information, but easy to read as well. It belongs on the bookshelf of any lover of good food.’ — Ken Hom, OBE, author, chef & TV presenter

‘Deploying gorgeous visual material and exquisite detail from over a millennia of Chinese and Japanese written sources, Eric Rath historicizes, regionalizes and denationalizes the contested story of the birth and transformation of various kinds of sushi. He also shows how this modest dish went global as it acquired substantial cultural capital in the late twentieth century. A lucid and beautifully produced book.’ — Krishnendu Ray, Chair, Department of Nutrition and Food Studies, NYU Steinhardt

Oishii means “delicious” in Japanese, and this impressive book both nourishes and delights. Through prodigious research and recipes, Oishii carries us along sushi’s path from fermented fish to fresh. Rath’s narrative is revelatory as he traces sushi’s history in relation to culinary methodologies, nationalism, wartime rationing, global innovations, and more.’ — Darra Goldstein, founding editor of "Gastronomica" and author of "Beyond the North Wind"

‘Eric C. Rath’s smart, historically riveting, contemporarily grounded deconstruction of sushi kept me turning each page in anticipation of yet another fascinating fact on one of my most deeply loved foods. For chefs and food geeks, Oishii reveals a number of sushi methods heretofore not found in English and thus serves as an extremely valuable contribution to the landscape of Japanese food writing.’ — Nancy Singleton Hachisu, author of 'Japan: The Cookbook'

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Eric C. Rath is Professor of Premodern Japanese History at the University of Kansas. He is the author of Japan’s Cuisines: Food, Place and Identity (Reaktion Books, 2016) and Food and Fantasy in Early Modern Japan (2010).