Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Sushi Ecstasy

I am willing to believe that the sushi was THAT good. But I'm sure this writing is ripe for parody:
I remember precisely the dull luster of Mr. Nakazawa’s mackerel and the way its initial firmness gave way to a minor-key note of pickled fish and a major-key richness that kept building the longer I chewed. I can feel the warmth of just-poached blue shrimp from the South Pacific islands of New Caledonia, which had a flavor that was deep, clean and delicate at the same time. I can tell you about the burning-leaf smell of skipjack smoked over smoldering hay until it becomes a softer, aquatic version of aged Italian speck.
About Mr. Nakazaw, the chef:
In the movie [Jiro Dreams of Sushi], Mr. Nakazawa was the young apprentice who cried when Mr. Ono conceded that he had finally made an acceptable egg custard. With his shaved scalp, bowed head, downturned eyes and meek acceptance of Mr. Ono’s criticisms, he gave the impression of a novice Zen monk who was accustomed to abuse in the name of enlightenment. (He also gave you the idea that Jiro could be kind of a pill.)
But there ARE interesting questions here: Can food preparation be made into a high art, comparable to music or poetry? Has it, in fact, been done? It's not a matter of mere excellence, in the way that a well prepared steak is better than a fast food burger, but better even than THAT. It's a matter of a different kind of gustatory experience. 

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