Katarzyna J. Cwiertka is Researcher in the Centre for Japanese and Korean Studies at Leiden University. She is the co-author of Asian Food: The Global and the Local (2002) and Yamazato: The Kaiseki Cuisine, Hotel Okura Amsterdam (2003).
a gold mine of fascinating data... well worth reading The Daily Yomiuri Modern Japanese Cuisine is one of those rare scholarly books that should appeal to the palate of the general literary omnivore as well as to the more specialized tastes of the professional scholar ... well-researched and concise. Monumenta Nipponica Culinary history has opened up new perspectives in the study of culture, technology, economics, and politics as well as other fields. Katarzyna Cwiertka's recent work is a lucid example of such a treatment of history through foodways, clarifying, on the one hand, ideas of nationalism and ideologies of identity, and, on the other, from the ground up, cultural understandings of taste and human behavior ... This is a work to read and reread as the detail is so rich. This deeply engaged treatment of Japanese modernizing foodways underscores the power of producers, marketers, and policymakers, along with ordinary consumers, in an interactive system of nutritional and cultural production and consumption. Journal of Japanese Studies This book is a fascinating study of Japanese food, focusing on the important historical processes shaping the dietary system of modern Japan. It is well organized, and provides a clear, chronological overview of modern Japanese history in terms of the meals that ordinary Japanese digested in the latter half of the nineteenth through the twentieth century. Asian Anthopology Though properly scholarly, Modern Japanese Cuisine is also juicy in details Japan Times As the first academic book on the history of Japanese cuisine in English, this pioneering work will be with us as a basis for some time to come as we are filling in our gaps in knowledge and understanding in the newly emerging fields of consumption and the history of daily life. Japan Forum ... a trove of useful and original information, based on solid research and sources often not accessible to scholars who do not speak Japanese. Moreover, it offer new and stimulating analysis of the making of a national cuisine, adding interesting elements to the debate on the dynamics that determine and affect the development and the transformation of cultural - and culinary - identities. Food and Foodways Cwiertka's account is both highly readable and essential. Gastronomica a worthwhile and important addition to the growing corpus of material about Japanese cuisine and its influence worldwide. Pacific Affairs