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Hana Sushi    by Akiko Namiki & Eriko Teranishi order for
Hana Sushi
by Akiko Namiki
Order:  USA  Can
Kodansha International, 2004 (2004)
* * *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

I've only recently discovered sushi, and love it. Just had to pick up the cookbook, Hana Sushi. What is hanna sushi, you ask? Well, so did I. Ask, that is. Hanna sushi literally means 'floral sushi'. Floral sushi was first created in Japan at the end of the Endo period (17th century) with motifs for festive occasions and now 'seems to include all kinds of artistic sushi that have a decorative-and–edible motif'.

This cookbook takes the mystery out of making sushi at home. It 'teaches readers how to make the special vinegared rice that is used in the rolls as well as the best ways to roll the rice and nori (seaweed) sheets. It also shows how to color and season the rice, all with natural ingredients.' Make Cherry Blossoms or Tulips for a feminine party. Try Sailboat, Floppy Ear Dog, Kitten and Sea Turtle for a child's party. There are Christmas Trees, Bunny or Chick, and Four Leaf Clover. Pick your favorite holiday and create your own hanna sushi. The suggested designs are spelled out so that anyone can make them easily. The only limit is your own imagination.

This is a delightful cookbook for devotees of sushi, and for those adventurous cooks who want to try something new. The photographs are lovely, mouthwatering, and stir one to head for the nearest store to buy ingredients. Hana Sushi is sushi of the highest order.

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