Life in the Raw

The ancient precursor of sushi would probably be unrecognizable to the modern diner. Raw fish was packed in jars with layers of rice and fermented for weeks, like pungent cheese. These days, of course, sushi is as innocuous as a Big Mac, and just as ubiquitous. In The Zen of Fish , Trevor Corson reports that even the Wal-Mart in Plano, Texas, has its own sushi counter.

Corson's is one of two recent books to track sushi's evolution from a street snack in Edo Japan to yuppie haute cuisine to fast food served...

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