Saturday, April 09, 2005
10 Books About Food
I love cookbooks almost as much as Heidi. As a matter of fact, upon a recent inspection, it came to light that I may even have more than my fair share. (What can I say, its an addiction!) But as an avid reader, I also like books on food that aren't strictly recipes. Of course there are the standards, A Year in Provence, and anything by Elizabeth David or MFK Fisher, but there are also so many more that I love and read over and over for their way of transporting me to far of places (and meals. Ah the meals.), their quirky humor, insight and knowledge. I thought today I would include a few of those and maybe inspire you to check some out for yourselves. Admittedly, some are out of print, but in this digital age, and what with you being so clever, I'm certain they can be found someplace! So, with no further ado, my list of 10 great food-related books that aren't cookbooks:
Blue Trout and Black Truffles – Delicious, divine, decadent and inspiring tales of eating in Europe (mostly France). Pick it up and you will not be able to put it down.
Perfection Salad – An interesting look into women and food in America. Covers some topics you just would never have thought of (why cookbooks fall there they do in the Dewey Decimal system for instance.) not scintillating, but fascinating for sure.
Burgundy Stars – Detailed and luxurious account of how Bernard Loiseau achieved his third Michelin star at La Cote d'Or. My copy is old, so I don’t know if the newest version has an update, but you may know that Bernard Loiseau tragically took his own life last year.
The Rituals of Dinner - An exploration of table manners, food taboos, and eating rituals found in cultures throughout the world. Impossible to put down.
The Unprejudiced Palate – Absolutely my favorite food book ever. Written in 1948 it is essays and anecdotes from the authors amazing life that will awe and inspire you. Lovingly written, hysterically funny and eye opening, this book is a true treasure. If you can find a copy, buy it. You will fall in love. (Includes some outstanding recipes too)
Tasting Food, Tasting Freedom – Another sort of sociological/anthopological (hey, I was abn Anthropology major, what do you expect?) explores how the availability of certain foods shaped our nation and ourselves.
Physiology of Taste – I think this treasure should be required reading in high school. It is sophisticated, intellectual and brilliantly written. It has its detractors but I find it perfect. Look for the MFK Fisher translation, I find its a litte more accessible.
Sacramental Magic in a Small Town Café – Peter Reinhardt was a chef instructor at my cooking school, so of course I was compelled to read his book. I found it simply lovely and easy to read. The recipes are also top notch.
A surplus of diet food for the overweight has been a boon for the hungry in Appalachia.
Once hot and trendy, low-carb Atkins diet foods that never got sold are being shipped to food banks.
Since September, 14 truckloads of Atkins Nutritional bars, shakes and breakfast mixes have been
sent to charities that hand out free food.
Those who follow the food industry say a decline in the public's appetite for low-carb foods is leaving
manufacturers with a surplus. Industry estimates indicate the number of Americans
following any low-carb diet peaked in February 2004 and has fallen dramatically since
then. Bob Goldin, executive vice president of Technomic Inc., a food industry research and
consulting firm, said many companies overproduced low-carb foods and now are stuck with it.
``The market has just cratered for those products,'' he said. ``Typically when it shows up in
food banks, it's got very little commercial value.'' Atkins Nutritionals said in a statement
that the company routinely donates food to a number of charities. - AP