THE GOCHISO GOURMET: Are you worth your weight?

In salt that is. Many moons ago, salt was just as valuable as gold, hence the expression. In fact, the word we equate with our income, “salary,” is derived from salt. And though, contrary to popular belief that the Romans were paid with salt (they were paid in coins), the word “salad” also is derived […]

A treasure trove of recipes

DRAGONFLY JOURNEY COOKBOOK By Dragonfly Journey Committee (Seattle Keiro Nursing Home for Nikkei Concerns) Seattle: 2012, 198 pp., $20 (plus $5 s/h) paperback) As cookbooks go, the “Dragonfly Journey Cookbook” is in a class of its own. The book is a fundraiser for the Dragonfly Journey Project at the Seattle Keiro Nikkei Concerns nursing home. […]

A slower, healthier life on the farm

JAPANESE FARM FOOD By Nancy Singleton Hachisu (Riverside, New Jersey: Andrews McMeel Publishing, 2012, 400 pp., $35, hard cover) With “Japanese Farm Food,” Nancy Singleton Hachisu presents the reader a rare snapshot of a life that most people will never experience — living and working on a rural Japanese farm and relishing the culinary pleasures […]

Japanese flavors meet American ingredients

HIROKO’S AMERICAN KITCHEN: COOKING WITH JAPANESE FLAVORS: 6 EASY SAUCES; 125 MODERN RECIPES By Hiroko Shimbo (Riverside, New Jersey: Andrews McMeel Publishing, 2012, 224 pp., $24.99, paperback) The basic goal of Hiroko Shimbo’s new cookbook “Hiroko’s Japanese Kitchen” is simple: to help American home cooks infuse familiar ingredients with Japanese flavors and preparation styles. Take […]

THE GOCHISO GOURMET: Food memories

Since we’re starting the Obon season, this is the time to reflect on those who have passed on and remember those times and events that still make us smile. After all, Obon season is when we dance and celebrate with our ancestors. I’m sure you’re not surprised that many of my memories have something to […]

THE GOCHISO GOURMET: What would you eat?

Maybe it’s because the Mayans calculated the end of the 13th Baktun on Dec. 21 of this year. Perhaps it’s because that radio network preacher has predicted the end of days … on multiple dates, mind you. Or perhaps it’s just because the National Geographic Channel airs a show called “Doomsday Preppers” every Tuesday evening […]

Northern Japan’s fancy foods

Some 17,000 attendees swarmed the 1,300 companies that exhibited across 206,000 square feet of San Francisco’s expansive Moscone Center during the Winter Fancy Food Show. The specialty foods trade show, now in its 37th year, was held from Jan. 15 to 17. The National Association for Specialty Food Trade (NASFT) is a New York-based nonprofit currently celebrating […]

THE GOCHISO GOURMET: In the ‘Iron Chef’s’ domain

If not for a shoulder injury many moons ago, we might be watching Masaharu Morimoto swinging a baseball bat instead of deftly slicing sashimi. As a foodie, I’m thankful that he took the path of sushi and sashimi instead of besuboru. Morimoto opened his Hawai‘i outpost, Morimoto Waikiki (1775 Ala Moana Blvd., Honolulu, HI 96815; […]

THE GOCHISO GOURMET: Turning a new leaf

Well, it’s the start of the new year, the Year of the Dragon. The Year of the Water Dragon, if you want to get technical, and it doesn’t officially start until Jan. 23. But it’s that time once again, that we make little promises to ourselves to change for the better; to be a better […]

The building blocks of baking

FLOUR: SPECTACULAR RECIPES FROM BOSTON’S FLOUR BAKERY + CAFE By Joanne Chang with Christie Matheson (San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 2010, 340 pp., $35 hardcover) The new cookbook by pastry chef and owner of Boston’s Flour Bakery + Cafe begins with an unlikely analogy to theoretical math. Says author Joanne Chang “theoretical math class … taught […]

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