Japanese cooking has made an indelible mark on global culinary culture.
This newly-inaugurated speaker series will provide a venue for analyses of Japan’s rich regional and national Japanese food traditions, from the Nara Period to the present. Food Studies is an inherently interdisciplinary undertaking. Our intention is to sponsor events that showcase the work of one or more speakers and bring together researchers in the humanities, organic sciences, agriculturalists, environmentalists, and, of course, chefs. The inaugural lecture, in February of 2023, welcomed renowned Japan food historian Prof. Eric Rath, who presented on fermentation and the premodern origins of sushi, and Michelin star-winning Chef David Schlosser of Shibumi DTLA, who provided audience members with a sampling of narezushi from the famed Uoji Honten in Shiga Prefecture.
Wednesday, February 15, 2023
Sushi’s appearance in US grocery stores, usually coated in sauces and fried toppings, demonstrates how the once simple dish evolves as it globalizes. But sushi was a much different recipe 1,200 years ago when it was first mentioned in Japanese records. The likely derivation of “sushi” is “something sour” indicating that it was a fermented food, one that took months if not years to prepare.