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The Story of Sushi

An Unlikely Saga of Raw Fish and Rice

By Trevor Corson
13-minute read
Audio available
The Story of Sushi: An Unlikely Saga of Raw Fish and Rice by Trevor Corson

The Story of Sushi (2007) takes a closer look at the classic Japanese dish that has taken the Western world by storm. Discover the secrets behind both the traditional and more modern ingredients of sushi – and find out what kind of rituals and techniques are used to make the perfect nigiri.

  • Sushi skeptics wondering what’s so great about tiny portions of rice and fish
  • Foodies who want to know what makes the best sushi
  • Chefs and restaurateurs wishing to add sushi to their menu

Trevor Corson is a writer and philosopher. He studied philosophy in China and lived in Buddhist temples in Japan and also spent time on commercial fishing boats off the coast of Maine. He is a frequent contributor to the New York Times. His other books include The Secret Life of Lobsters.

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The Story of Sushi

An Unlikely Saga of Raw Fish and Rice

By Trevor Corson
  • Read in 13 minutes
  • Audio & text available
  • Contains 8 key ideas
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The Story of Sushi: An Unlikely Saga of Raw Fish and Rice by Trevor Corson
Synopsis

The Story of Sushi (2007) takes a closer look at the classic Japanese dish that has taken the Western world by storm. Discover the secrets behind both the traditional and more modern ingredients of sushi – and find out what kind of rituals and techniques are used to make the perfect nigiri.

Key idea 1 of 8

In Japan, sushi is a source of health and well-being, and this outlook has spread to other cultures.

For many kids, eating healthy foods like broccoli or spinach is a kind of torture. You probably remember being told to finish your vegetables – but, unless you grew up in Japan, you were probably never admonished for failing to finish your sushi.

In Japan, sushi has an enduring reputation as a source of strength and good health for adults and children alike.

In fact, there’s a famous Japanese children’s story, written by the poet Kanoko Okamoto in 1939, that’s simply called “Sushi.”

The story centers on a small boy who is such a picky eater that he becomes weak and sickly. So, his mother sits down with him to prepare some special sushi to get her child eating.

She makes sure her boy sees how clean her hands are and then begins the delicate process of rolling the sushi and preparing it with special, nutritious toppings. After seeing how much love and care his mother puts into the food, he agrees to eat.

By the end of the story, the boy has learned to love food. He grows up healthy and strong, and becomes a famous sushi chef. Like his mother, he takes care to prepare the perfect sushi for each customer.

Today, this appreciation of sushi’s unique qualities has reached far beyond Japan.

Californian soccer player Kate Murray discovered the benefits of sushi as a young adult in the early 2000s. After suffering a sports injury, Murray had to give up exercise, which led to illness and kidney disease.

To make matters worse, Murray spiraled into depression and began eating only fast food. Fortunately, a friend introduced her to sushi; Murray immediately fell in love with the food, and her metabolism kicked right back into gear.

Part of Murray’s appreciation came from the friendly and attentive sushi chefs who created the perfect roll for every customer.

In fact, Murray decided to become a sushi chef herself, and, as we’ll see, there were many more sushi secrets she unlocked.

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