Wednesday, 9 December 2009
This morning, a book parcel just arrived from Amazon EU. Ordering foreign cookbooks (written in English) is my regular activity on a monthly or bimonthly basis. To unpack such a heavy box from abroad is a therapeutic ritual to air my life in Tokyo with extra-exotic breeze, which now became a little piece of joy!
It may sound unusual to keep collecting foreign cookbooks while the same kinda books written by Japanese authors are easily available in nearby bookshops. They not only help my English, but draw my huge attention, providing all the culinary sophistication from the cooking presentation to photography (..well, apart from the bulky bookbinding tech). This is the point that Japanese counterparts can hardly achieve, I view.
My current read is "Nutmeg & Custard” by Marcus Wareing, who is a British Michelin-starred chef at “Marcus Wareing at The Barkeley”, London. (For your further info, he’s also well-known as an ex-protégé of Gordon Ramsay.) His book covering a variety of cookery scenes together with global ingredients and spices, the “ORIENT” chapter is amazing me in particular. As epitomised by Marcus here, I really like non-Asian chefs are enthusiastic about developing Asian cooking based on their distinctive senses that I’ve never had as Japanese.
For example, cooking marriages found between soba (buckwheat noodle) and greens for salad, tuna sashimi and pickled ginger for marinade are seemingly familiar in Japanese food. For us, however, they’re something “likely-but-unlikely” otherwise too close to be harmonised in the Japanese kitchen. They still fall into a range like “nouvelle” or “experimental”, albeit delish.
Anglicised recipes make Asian food “more Asian” in your country? Strange, but true...