Friday, June 27, 2014

Oishinbo, a la carte: Fish, Sushi and Sashimi by Tetsu Kariya [Ella, Central Library]

I don’t know if it was just because I was hungry but while looking through the library’s collection of manga series for something to read on my lunch break, the title Oishinbo, a la carte: Fish, Sushi and Sashimi sounded too good to resist.

Oishinbo, which translates to “The Gourmet” is a long running manga series hugely popular in Japan and recently made available in English. It chronicles the exploits of young journalist Yamaoka Shiro, a passionate food writer, on a mission to create an “Ultimate Menu” of the best of Japanese cuisine.

These comics tell slow sleepy stories about life in Japan where everyone seems to have a fanatic obsession with food. Rivalries between various chefs and debates over the proper preparation of certain foods are common story lines. Often the dramatic structure of a story is simply based around what type of fish someone uses in their sashimi!

The plot of this manga may be simple but the level of detail it contains about the preparation and history of Japanese cooking is amazing. Each volume of the English collection contains copious notes for the Japanophiles amongst us as well as a recipe from one of the stories and step by step instructions, incase Akira Hanasaki's beautifully rendered drawings of food make you hungry.

The library holds all 7 volumes in English each focusing on a different feature of Japanese cuisine. The books cover sake, ramen, and ‘the joy of rice’ to name a few. Go on, give it a try!


Title: Oishinbo, a la carte: Fish, sushi and sashimi
Author: Tetsu Kariya
Year: 2009
Publisher: Vis Media
ISBN: 
9781421521428

1 comments:

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