By Dave Lowry
Harvard Common Press
October 2005, $14.00
You want to be a sushi snob. And why not? Sushi—like wine—is deserving of such rarified appreciation and connoisseurship.
Did you know that the rice in nigiri sushi should be the same slightly cool temperature as the skin on your cheek? Or that when faced with a plate of different kinds of sushi, you should eat the maki rolls first, before the seaweed-wrapping becomes tough and gummy?
For the novices among us, sushi can be an intimidating dish. For those on the path to join the cognoscenti, Dave Lowry helps sweep away the mystery.
In The Connoisseur's Guide to Sushi, Lowry offers a sushi appreciation course broken into three parts. Part one covers everything about the sushi itself, including rice, nigiri sushi (hand-pressed), maki sushi (wrapped or rolled), chirashi sushi (scattered), oshi sushi (pressed), tane (toppings), gu (fillings), and nori (seaweed). Part two is an in-depth primer of various types of fish. Part three explains the practice and etiquette of eating sushi, including condiments, drinks, utensils, accouterments and furnishings, the itamae (sushi chef), and sushi ritual.
While his style can be a little tiring—Lowry sidetracks quite a bit—and the lack of photography a little puzzling, the content is highly informative and well worth the read.
One of the many lessons this reader learned: adding wasabi to a dish of soy sauce for dipping is a big no-no. Dipper, take note!