[free textbook pdf] Food and Fantasy in Early Modern Japan by Eric Rath, 0520262271

  • Full Title : Food and Fantasy in Early Modern Japan
  • Autor: Eric Rath
  • Print Length: 258 pages
  • Publisher: University of California Press; First edition
  • Publication Date: December 2, 2010
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0520262271
  • ISBN-13: 978-0520262270
  • Download File Format: pdf
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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 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. The book offers the first extensive introduction to Japanese cookbooks, recipe collections, and gastronomic writings of the period and traces the origins of dishes like tempura, sushi, and sashimi while documenting Japanese cooking styles and dining customs.


Editorial Reviews


“This volume is a cogent reminder that to truly understand the importance of food in our lives, we must examine not merely its material role, but also its symbolic significance.”
(Choice 2011-04-20)

“There is no English-language research on the subject of early modern Japanese cuisine as extensive or imaginative.”
(David Eason/University at Albany, SUNY Social Science Japan Jrnl 2013-01-22)

From the Inside Flap

Food and Fantasy offers a fresh look at Japanese cuisine through its pre-modern to early modern history. Rath’s treatment of the cuisines that existed in the world of the shoguns and what these reflect of taste and aesthetics, life and politics, offers lush detail. We have a taste of the meals that may have only existed in the hungry imaginations of writers.”―Merry White, author of Perfectly Japanese: Making Families in an Era of Upheaval




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niversary Edition



Deann Groen Bayless

Illustrations by John Sandford

Photographs by Christopher Hirsheimer

Cook’s mask with hinged mouth

To the memory of Gladys Augusta Potter, my grandmother,

who taught me that you can bring a lot more than food

to the dinner table


Preface to the Twentieth-Anniversary Edition






Sauces and Condiments


Basic Meat Preparations, Flavorings and Broths




Appetizers and Salads


Light and Hearty Soups




Snacks Made of Corn Masa






Turnover Fillings


Enchiladas and Their Relatives


Other Snacks






Fish and Shellfish






Rice, Beans and Vegetables






Glossary of Mexican Ingredients and Equipment


Finding Mexican Ingredients


Selected Bibliography




About the Authors



About the Publisher




In the mid-eighties, when my wife, Deann, and I were living in Mexico—traveling through every one of that country’s thirty-one states, exploring age-old markets, working with local cooks to learn the dishes that had stood the test of time—I knew just what kind of cookbook was in the making. I was crafting firsthand reports of who was cooking what in Mexico, and exactly where they were doing it.

I was amassing historical, geographical and social context for Mexico’s regional cooking. And I was capturing vivid verbal snapshots of authentic ingredients and traditional techniques that seemed to be getting nudged out as more shoppers (yes, even in Mexico) opted for the less diverse packaged stuff at mega-stores like Aurrerá and Wal-Mart.

Clearly, I was writing a cookbook for Americans who would describe themselves as adventurous and dedicated cooks—definite fans of Mexican food. And I assumed (or at least hoped) that they had traveled (or hoped to travel) through Mexico, and had a hankering for the non-Americanized real thing. That didn’t mean, however, that this motivated group wouldn’t end up bewildered as they sorted through the great variety of Mexico’s regional dishes and ingredients.

What those adventurous, dedicated souls needed, I resolved, was a cookbook that clearly explained the steps to traditional flavor within the context of both their American kitchens and the native kitchens of those who had created the traditions. Having lived for several years in Mexico after finishing an undergraduate degree in Spanish language and literature, followed by graduate studies in linguistics and anthropology, I was offering to become their guide and translator.

Little did I know how food and culture would evolve in the United States over the next twenty years. Hispanics, the majority of them Mexican, have become the fastest-growing immigrant group in North America. Which means two things: most non-Hispanic Americans

8 / Rick Bayless and Deann Groen Bayless don’t have to travel south of the border to encounter a taste of real Mexico (there are “authentic” grocery stores and ma-and-pa restaurants catering to Mexicans popping up as fast as Starbucks), and once-rare ingredients like chipotle chiles, tomatillos and key limes are now available in American grocery stores. So easily available, in fact, that they’ve started taking on a new life in the American kitchen, flavoring everything from barbecue sauces to chutneys to salad dressings. Dulce de leche (aka cajeta in Mexico) has become one of the most popular Häagen-Dazs ice cream flavors. Salsa, as we’ve heard repeatedly from the news media, is outselling ketchup.

Regional Mexican ingredients are even available in fresher and more convenient forms. When I was writing Authentic Mexican, tinny-tasting canned tomatillos were all most Americans could find; now citrus-bright fresh tomatillos are our norm. Back then, cilantro was called “Chinese parsley,” and those lustrous dark-green poblanos claimed almost no real estate in our country’s produce departments.

Smoky, spicy dried chipotle chiles used to be an American cook’s dream; nowadays a quick search in practically any U.S. town will produce chipotles in a variety of forms: dried (both the tan and the red varieties), powdered, canned in adobo, even pickled. Cactus paddles, if you were lucky to stumble upon them twenty years ago, were slimy, pickly strips in a dusty jar; just yesterday I bought beautifully fresh paddles for grilling at my local natural-foods grocery. Recently, when I discovered that a national retailer had started canning roasted tomatoes—roasting tomatoes is a technique traditional Mexica
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and executive chef of McCrady’s restaurant in Charleston, South Carolina; Megan Moore of Moore Fine Food in Great Barrington, Massachusetts; Christy Velie, head chef at Café Atlántico in Washington, DC; and the Zurschmeide family of Great Country Farms in Bluemont, Virginia.

The following people and organizations, for furthering my education about corn: Tony Bratch, commercial horticulture specialist at Virginia Tech in Blackburn, Virginia; Debbie Dillion, urban horticulturist at Loudoun County Extension in Leesburg, Virginia; Cary Nalls of Nalls’ Farm Market in Alexandria, Virginia; The National Corn Growers Association; state corn growers associations and associated state universities; Lori Warner at The Popcorn Institute in Chicago, Illinois; The Virginia Corn Growers Association; The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services; and Bruce Zurschmeide.


O beautiful for spacious skies,

For amber waves of grain,

For purple mountain majesties

Above the fruited plain!

America! America!

God shed His grace on thee

And crown thy good with brotherhood

From sea to shining sea!

When Katharine Lee Bates wrote these famous lines in 1893, she was on top of Pike’s Peak in Colorado Springs. Looking down over the plains, she was overcome by the beauty of her country. Although the amber waves of grain she saw were most likely prairie grasses or acres of wheat, her evocation could easily apply to vast fields of corn with their golden tassels gleaming in the summer sun or bronzed corn stalks heavy with ears of dried ornamental corn.

With its bright green husk and ornamental golden tassel, corn has been a motif in American art since prehistoric times. In fact, there is no vegetable, or fruit, more exclusively American than corn. It is the symbol of our bountiful land and of summer’s abundant harvest. Indeed, for thousands of years, the appearance of the first crop of ripe corn has been cause for celebration. Today, corn is celebrated throughout the world as a major food source for humans and animals. And with its myriad by-products, corn is the fiber in the fabric of life that binds the Americas to the rest of the world — from sea to shining sea and from the mountains to the plains.

The History of Corn

Corn is the only important grain indigenous to the Western Hemisphere, and its proliferation has sown the seeds of civilization throughout the Americas for thousands of years. The great civilizations of the Incas, Mayas, and Aztecs were founded on the cultivation of corn. Indeed, agriculture was at the very center of their religion. Corn was their life source, and they depended on the rain to make it grow. In the name of corn, the Aztec people sacrificed young women to two of their most important deities, the rain god, Tlaloc, and the corn goddess, Chicomecoatl.

Corn was also the staple grain of the North American Indians. They considered it a gift from their gods and referred to it as “Sacred Mother.” Many rituals were developed to summon the rain to ensure a good harvest. (Although corn is somewhat drought resistant during its last stages of growth, rain is essential during the reproductive tasseling stage — when the silks emerge and the kernels begin to swell.) Native Americans called corn mahiz, which means “our life.”

It was once common belief that corn had been brought to the New World from Asia during prehistoric migrations. In 1950, anthropologists discovered fossilized wild corn pollen 200 feet below Mexico City. Radiocarbon dating determined that the pollen was 80,000 years old, predating the arrival of human beings in the Western Hemisphere and proving that corn was indigenous to the North American continent. Other expeditions during the 1950s unearthed tiny, half-inch ears of cultivated corn that were carbon-dated to as early as circa 5000 b.c.e.

It took centuries for corn to be carried north from Mexico by Native Americans migrating to what would later be the Four Corners region of New Mexico and Arizona. The appearance of corn in that region around 1200 b.c.e. contributed to a dramatic increase in population as corn farming was adopted in the Southwest. It took several centuries more for corn to reach Native Americans living in what would become the northeastern United States.

In the 15th century, the Spanish discovered that corn was grown by many Native American tribes throughout the Americas — from the tip of South America to as far north as present-day Canada. Returning from a post in Cuba in 1492, a scouting party informed its leader, Christopher Columbus, that his maíz could be baked, dried, and ground into flour. Within a few years, maize was introduced to Europe. From Spain, it spread to France, Italy, Germany, Austria, and Eastern Europe; the Portuguese took maize seeds with them on their travels to Africa, the East Indies, and Asia. By the late 16th c
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nshine Required)

Preserve Your Own Lemons


Genius Tip: Spice-Fried Eggs

Egg Salad Every Which Way

How to Poach Eggs

Don’t Boil Eggs—Steam Them!

How to Peel Boiled Eggs

Genius Tip: Crunchy Crumbled Tempeh

How to Soak Your Beans, Stat

Genius Tip: Chorizo—You Can Pickle That


Genius Tip: Melty Cheese Dressing

Crème Fraîche Dressing

Creamy Ginger Dressing

Artichoke-Dill Dressing

Turn Any Pesto into Dressing

Hard-Boiled Egg Dressing

Caesar Dressing

Currant-Anchovy Vinaigrette

Parmesan Vinaigrette

How to Save So-So (& Plain Terrible) Dressing

Lime Vinaigrette

Preserved Lemon Vinaigrette

Balsamic-Thyme Vinaigrette

Mustard-Walnut Vinaigrette

Romesco Vinaigrette

Fig-Balsamic Vinaigrette

Smoky Tahini Dressing

Pancetta-Lime Dressing

When Dressing’s “Done”

Lemon-Tahini Dressing

Sriracha Miso Mayo

Chive-Sage Dressing

Pomegranate Vinaigrette

Dill-Yogurt Sauce

Roasted Shallot Vinaigrette

The Last Drops of Dijon

Dressing’s Second Act

Carrot-Harissa Vinaigrette

Orange Dressing

Pistachio Aillade

Pesto Dressing

Bagna Cauda Dressing

Lemon-Dill Vinaigrette

Mayonnaise Marinade

Roasted Tomato Vinaigrette

Onion Confit

Phuong’s Peanut Sauce

Curry-Yogurt Dressing

Genius Tip: For Less Pucker

Warm Bacon Vinaigrette

Lemon-Ginger Dressing

Cherry Vinaigrette

Caramelized Tangerine Vinaigrette

Nuoc Cham

Lemon-Anchovy Vinaigrette

Lime-Sriracha Dressing

Sherry Vinaigrette


Genius Tip: Pickled Grains

How to Make Perfectly Crispy Fried Shallots—Without Flour

Grilled Cheese Croutons

Grilled Peach & Apricot Salad with Kale and Prosciutto

Sturdy greens + cured meat + grilled fruit + crumbly cheese

Serves 4 | From Nicholas Day

You might think this dressing sounds overly simplified (olive oil and lemon? Why do I need a recipe for that?), but the genius comes when you top the salad with smoky, sweet, still-hot grilled stone fruit. Its juices seep down into the greens and finish what little work you put into the dressing. Add a bit of prosciutto and a tumble of feta, and you’ve basically got a cheese plate in a bowl. Which, really, is what you wanted from a salad cookbook, right?

1 bunch lacinato kale

Kosher salt

¼ cup (60ml) olive oil

1 to 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice, or to taste

4 ounces (115g) prosciutto, thinly sliced

4 peaches, halved

4 apricots, halved

Neutral oil (such as vegetable, canola, or grapeseed), for brushing

¼ cup (40g) crumbled feta cheese

Crusty bread, for serving

1. Heat the grill to medium-high and brush your grates clean. While the grill heats up, prepare the kale. Fold a leaf in half along the central rib. With a sharp knife, cut away the rib and discard. Tear or chop the kale leaves into bite-size pieces and place them in a large salad bowl. Add a pinch of salt and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and massage, kneading it for a minute or so, until it softens. Whisk together the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil and the lemon juice. Tear or cut the prosciutto into bite-size pieces and set both aside.

2. When the grill is reasonably but not overwhelmingly hot, brush the peaches and apricots very lightly with the neutral oil and grill, cut side down, until deeply caramelized, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate.

3. Toss the kale with the dressing and feta. Add the prosciutto, followed by the still-hot peaches and apricots, letting their juices seep into the kale. If there are any extra juices on the plate, add those too. Eat with crusty bread.

Genius Tip: Melty Cheese Dressing

You’re used to finding hard cheese in crags or pebbles here and there in your salad, but they can also become a more even, consistent coat by melting the cheese into a dressing. Canal House’s method starts like you’re making cacio e pepe pasta and ends with a milky, emulsified, deeply pungent dressing. Stir 1 ½ cups (150g) finely grated Pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese and ½ cup (120ml) boiling water in a large bowl until the cheese is melted. Whisk in ½ cup (120ml) extra-virgin olive oil, then season with freshly ground black pepper. Spoon the melty cheese dressing over skinny asparagus, fresh peas, and delicate lettuce leaves, if you’re Canal House—also over heartier greens, roasted vegetables, or scrambled eggs, if you’re us.

Petits Pois à la Française Redux

Charred greens + charred alliums + bacon + creamy dressing

Serves 4 | From Aleksandra Mojsilovic

Petits pois à la française is classically a simple braise of peas, lettuce, and onions. But Aleksandra Mojsilovic, a scientist by day and James Beard Award–nominated blogger by night, zhooshed it into this, a salad other salads aspire to be: understated at first but full of spl
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w, mild, fruity-flavoured hard Swiss cheese known for its holey characteristics. When melted it has a buttery taste often likened to Gruyère, and is commonly used in fondue.

Fontina Semi-soft Italian cheese with a pungent smell, quite unlike its balanced, complex flavour. Rich and creamy with a slight fruity taste, it has an elastic texture that produces the perfect stretch when melted. Considered to be Italy’s answer to Gruyère, you will also find varieties made by the US and Denmark. American fontina is more yellow in colour and less aged, resulting in a buttery taste.

Taleggio Semi-soft, stinky Italian cheese with a sticky rind that is great when crisped up on top of a macaroni cheese. Despite the smell, the flavour is balanced, complex and nutty, with a slight saltiness. Once left at room temperature or melted, it becomes oozy and glorious.


At Grill My Cheese, we use a signature blend of four different cheeses that we have created to give the best flavour, melt and stretch. It is a blend that works great on its own but at the same time has been created to complement all the other fillings we use.

Keen’s Cheddar (1 part) – an unpasteurized, strong-flavoured Cheddar matured for a minimum of one year. It has a creamy, smooth and firm texture and long, earthy, rich, nutty flavours with a sharp finish.

Farmhouse mature Cheddar (2 parts) – a great flavour enhancer to mellow out the blend slightly.

Swiss Gruyère (1 part) – a buttery, sweet, slightly nutty cheese with a flavour that varies widely with age. We use one of the younger varieties; the more mature it is, the more earthy and complex the flavour.

Cow’s ‘low moisture’ mozzarella (2 parts) – known for its mild flavour and great ‘stretch’, this is one of the most versatile and best cheeses to use when adding stronger flavours to a toastie (see opposite).


The goal when making any toastie is to make sure you have an even, golden, buttery crust and a gooey pile of melted cheese in the centre. When adding other fillings, they also need to be heated through. If you get the heat wrong, you could be left with a burnt, unmelted or soggy toastie.


We use a tiny amount of butter on the outside of our toasties. Our cheese blend has a decent fat content so we don’t want our toasties to be greasy and cloying. By using a scant buttering, we assure you that you will get a golden buttery crust without any of the excess grease. Unsalted butter is our recommended choice.


To cook the sandwiches on the stall we use a flat-top grill (plancha), with some traditional meat presses. These can be purchased online (we had ours shipped in from the US) and they cook bacon, steak and other meat really well. These presses can also be used instead of the spatula in the frying pan method below.


When making a single toastie, or a few for friends, we would recommend the frying pan method. Everyone has a frying pan (we hope), and all you require is a spatula and some patience.

Heat your frying pan to a medium heat and place your toastie in the dry pan. Either push down gently with a spatula, or use a saucepan (or any other weight) to hold the toastie down. This ensures an even cook with melted cheese in the middle. Depending on the fillings, the toastie should take about 3 minutes a side.


Place the prepared sandwich in the grill and cook on a medium heat for 3–4 minutes, depending on the strength of your machine. The good thing about panini presses is that they are generally easy to check for ‘toastie readiness’. We prefer flat plates (they’re easier to clean), but ridged plates also work just as well, and give you a slightly crunchier toastie. All breads work well in the panini machine.


There are only certain types of bread that work in this machine, and a white or brown standard sliced loaf would be our only suggestion. The machine can either deliver nostalgic wonders, or result in molten cheese explosions and soggy crusts.

Always use pre-softened butter on the outside of the bread to avoid any rips in the bread. Don’t overfill your sandwiches if you’re using this cooking method, as the machine does restrict how much filling you can fit inside your toastie. Make up your toastie as per the recipe and then carefully place inside your toastie machine. Close the clip and leave to toast for 4–5 minutes. The sandwich is ready when the bread has crisped up into two beautiful triangle pockets. Leave to cool for a while before taking your first bite; the steam inside the toastie could lead to serious injury.

Given the nature of this method, the sandwiches that won’t work as well are the Fresh Tuna Melt and


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