This off-beat introduction to Japanese food culture is billed as a new take on the travel guide. But our suggestion is that it’s most useful as an inducement to travel. Dividing the country into seven regions, each with a dominating tradition (sushi in Tokyo, kaiseki in Kyoto, and fermentation in Noto), Goulding burrows deep into local history and culture, highlighting people and establishments that symbolize different ways of life. You won’t find long lists of restaurants and maps of outdoor food markets here; instead you’ll read portraits of artisans who make knives and ramen, find brief articles on izakaya delicacies and Japanese convenience store food, and you’ll surely gain a strong sense that what we know of Japanese food here in the US is but a shadow of its native complexity.
Color photographs throughout. Hardcover