Super Sushi Ramen Express by Michael Booth is a book that gives an overview of the various food cultures and regions of Japan. This is a combination of Michael Booth moving his family to the country for several months but also some very good fixers nailing down really big interviews and meals. My favorite chapters were those about the unique elements of Japanese cuisine. It is definitely a good overview and made me think maybe I’d like to visit Japan after all. For recipes and photos, you would need a different resource.
This book is written by a journalist and it shows in his attention to detail. Michael Booth had contacts with artisanal producers of saki, tofu, and soy sauce. He was able to sort out the history of each product, how each was made, and their futures.
Much of the book ponders the question of whether or not authentic Japanese cuisine is vanishing. Booth talks with respected chefs, food critics, and Japanese gourmands. Most would say that they have seen a rapid decline in the quality of the fundamentals of Japanese cooking, particularly in how chefs make dashi. Dashi is the basis of much of Japanese food from miso soup onward.
The author also seemed very keen on finding out if the traditional Japanese diet contributed to the nation’s high life expectancy. He does a great job of sorting out myths from facts.
I received this book from the publisher via net galley.