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October 16, 2013

OISHINBO – A la carte

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Written by: Pramadha Mohana, IX D, Delhi Public School, Nacharam
**********
For a classic book lover-turned-manga fanatic like me, Oishinbo was a real treat. (like, totally!)

“Oishinbo is a Japanese word, meaning, “The Gourmet” and tells stories of amazing recipes, dishes and epic food wars! The series consists of seven volumes printed in English and I recently had the amazing luck of reading two books in this series: Oishinbo – Ramen and Gyoza; Oishinbo – The joy of rice.

The plot of the series begins in Tozai News Company, where our man, Yamaoka Shiro works as a journalist and food writer and is assigned with the crucial job of creating the “Ultimate menu”. Meanwhile, Yamaoka’s father-turned-rival, Kaibara Yuzan – a gourmet cook and food expert, agrees to prepare the “Supreme Menu” for the Teito Times, the Tozai News Company’s rival. Thus begins, a series of battles as both Shiro and his father, Yuzan attempt to triumph over the other. To accomplish the job assigned to him, and to defeat his father, Shiro goes on a roller coaster ride, looking for new recipes and new ways to relive old recipes, accompanied by his colleague, Kurita Yuko.

One such dish is the good old rice ball. We all know that the Japanese love rice, but if you ever want to know just HOW much, then “Oishinbo – The Joy of Rice” is the book for you. Throughout the book, Shiro and Yuzan give intricate details of the production of rice, organic farming and how cultivation of rice helps the country. Shiro describes the different species of rice, while elaborating on the stubby and sticky, sweet tasting Japanese rice, used to make the rice balls that we are talking about.

In “Oishinbo- Ramen and Gyoza”, Shiro discovers new kinds of Ramen, and at one point, even tries to improve on the new food trend, Hiyashi Chuka. He tries to convince his father that the cold noodle dish does have potential in the Japanese cuisine. On this occasion, Kaibara Yuzan makes it known that he is not satisfied with Shiro’s experiments and claims that he can make a better Hiyashi Chuka. Ultimately, it is Kaibara who wins the test, but Shiro learns a new lesson in culinary arts, by understanding how indigenous and foreign condiments can greatly alter the taste of a dish.

Reading this review, one might naturally wonder who is going to win the Menu challenge, how the father-son rivalry started in the first place and why Shiro bears such an intense hatred towards his father. However, the book answers all these questions and more, repeatedly throughout each book. (It is difficult enough having to explain the facts once, but doing it over and over again, without getting the reader bored, is a rare feat to achieve!)

These books impart vast information on the different cuisines of the world, provide the recipes for numerous exotic dishes, and yet, fulfill the task of entertaining the reader.

In the end, it all comes down to saying this – Tetsu Kariya’s knowledge of incredible food and Akira Hanasaki’s quirky art have given a new place to foodism in the manga community, and thus, the Oishinbo series is a must-read for every comic-lover!



About the Author(s)

అతిథి

పుస్తకం.నెట్ కు సభ్యులు కాని వారు పంపే వ్యాసాలు అతిథి గా ప్రచురింపబడతాయి.



2 Comments


  1. valaludu

    beautiful review. i’m going buy all these books now. becoz my sister wants all those recipes for exotic dishes and i need fun and entertainment.


  2. amarendra

    review baavundi..congrats Mohanaa



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