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Food and Fantasy in Early Modern Japan - Eric Rath

Food and Fantasy in Early Modern Japan

By: Eric Rath
eBook Published: 2nd December 2010
ISBN: 9780520947658
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How did one dine with a shogun? Or make solid gold soup, sculpt with a fish, or turn seaweed into a symbol of happiness? In this fresh and fascinating look at Japanese culinary history, Eric C. Rath delves into the writings of medieval and early modern Japanese chefs to answer these and other provocative questions, and to trace the development of Japanese cuisine from 1400 to 1868. Rath shows how medieval "fantasy food" rituals--where food was revered as symbol rather than consumed--were continued by early modern writers, who created whimsical dishes and fanciful banquets and turned dining into a voyeuristic literary pleasure. Food and Fantasy in Early Modern Japan offers the first extensive introduction to Japanese cookbooks, recipe collections, and gastronomic writings of the period. It traces the origins of familiar dishes like tempura, sushi, and sashimi while documenting Japanese cooking styles and dining customs, and demonstrates that for early modern Japanese cuisine, the central ingredient was the imagination.

List of Illustrations and Tables


1. Japanese Cuisine, a Backward Journey
2. Of Knives and Men: Cutting Ceremonies and Cuisine
3. Ceremonial Banquets
4. The Barbarians' Cookbook
5. Food and Fantasy in Culinary Books
6. Menus for the Imagination
7. Deep Thought Wheat Gluten and Other Fantasy Foods

Conclusion: After the Fantasies

Appendix: The Southern Barbarians' Cookbook (Nanban ryorisho)

ISBN: 9780520947658
ISBN-10: 0520947657
Format: ePUB
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 258
Published: 2nd December 2010
Publisher: University of California Press
Edition Number: 1