The essays in Chop Suey and Sushi from Sea to Shining Sea fill gaps in the existing food studies by revealing and contextualizing the hidden, local histories of Chinese and Japanese restaurants in the United States.
The writer of these essays show how the taste and presentation of Chinese and Japanese dishes have evolved in sweat and hardship over generations of immigrants who became restaurant owners, chefs, and laborers in the small towns and large cities of America. These vivid, detailed, and sometimes emotional portrayals reveal the survival strategies deployed in Asian restaurant kitchens over the past 150 years and the impact these restaurants have had on the culture, politics, and foodways of the United States.
Some of these authors are family members of restaurant owners or chefs, writing with a passion and richness that can only come from personal investment, while others are academic writers who have painstakingly mined decades of archival data to reconstruct the past. Still others offer a fresh look at the amazing continuity and domination of the “evil Chinaman” stereotype in the “foreign” world of American Chinatown restaurants. The essays include insights from a variety of disciplines, including history, sociology, anthropology, ethnography, economics, phenomenology, journalism, food studies, and film and literary criticism.
Chop Suey and Sushi from Sea to Shining Sea not only complements the existing scholarship and exposes the work that still needs to be done in this field, but also underscores the unique and innovative approaches that can be taken in the field of American food studies.
Sushi and sashimi are by now a global sensation and have become perhaps the best known of Japanese foods—but they are also the most widely misunderstood. Oishii: The History of Sushi reveals that sushi began as a fermented food with a sour taste, used as a means to preserve fish. This book, the first history of sushi in English, traces sushi’s development from China to Japan and then internationally, and from street food to high-class cuisine. Included are two dozen historical and original recipes that show the diversity of sushi and how to prepare it. Written by an expert on Japanese food history, Oishii is a must read for understanding sushi’s past, its variety and sustainability, and how it became one of the world’s greatest anonymous cuisines.
The Mesa Verde region is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world and is an area fraught with complexities, anomalies, and layers of histories. Sushi in Cortez is a collection of essays by an interdisciplinary group of academics, artists, and cultural observers that explores this diverse landscape and heritage by combining and sharing the differing perspectives provided by various disciplines. Poetry, film, environmental philosophy, nature photography, native Pueblo perspectives, and archaeology are used to touch on the common questions people ask about the value of their work and lives as well as the value of visiting ancient sites such as Mesa Verde. The authors share personal stories about the difficulties, joys, confusions, and epiphanies they experienced as they crossed the boundaries of their professional lives, coming to understand how incomplete any single rendition of place can be. Find additional images on our website www.uofupress.com.