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Books

Octopus beaks and snake soup

7 October 2017

9:00 AM

7 October 2017

9:00 AM

Driving across Japan’s Shikuko island, the food and travel writer Michael Booth pulls into a filling station to find, alongside the fizzy drinks and chewing gum, ‘vacuum-packed octopus beaks’. Who could resist? Not Booth. ‘Very crunchy,’ he reports. ‘And not in a good way.’

Booth is drawn to the offbeat, and The Meaning of Rice gives us a banquet of the unfamiliar: seaweed caviar, live squid sashimi, sea-urchin tongues, snake soup, bonito guts, silkworm pupae, and more, with all their smells, flavours and textures.

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