Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create an account.

suzilightning

What food-related books are you reading? (2016 -)

Recommended Posts

Host's note: this topic has grown too large for our servers to handle efficiently, so it's been divided into segments.  The previous, first segment is here: What food-related book are you reading? (2004 - 2015).

 

 

Somewhere .... here I think, though I can't find it ... someone asked me about books that I had read and enjoyed that dealt more with food history.....I promised to get  back but can't find the link.  Hopefully they will recognize my name and request or someone else will pick up on some of these titles/autho

 

We are what we eat: Ethnic food and the making of America      Gabaccia, Donna.     Thank goodness I had this book on the cruise.  Read well and was fascinating.   

A drizzle of history: The lives and recipes of Spain's secret Jews    Gitlitz, David.         One of my favorite books on the conversos and has some great recipes.

Harris, Jessica.   I read anything she writes and enjoy her writing and research skills. 

Climbing the Mango Tree   Jaffrey, Madhur.       Great memoir.

Gran Cocina Latina: The food of Latin America   Presilla, Maricel.                                Phenomenal research, writing and connecting the new and old worlds.

Pomp and sustenance: Twenty-fie centuries of Sicilian food      Simeti, Mary Taylor.    Started reading at a friends house; not done with it yet but ties a lot of the history of  Europe and the Mideast   

          together.


Edited by Smithy Added host's note (log)
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not for the first time, I am deep into James Joyce's Ulysses Chapter 8. Lestragonians. The food chapter, rich with direct and indirect food references.

 

Not that he doesn't write wonderfully about food elsewhere. The story story "The Dead" in Dubliners also has some wonderful food descriptions.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The President's Cookbook, by Poppy Cannon. I have some other White House cookbooks, but, this one actually has some recipes I am interested in trying.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just finished Earlene Fowler's mystery novel, Arkansas Traveler.  The book isn't about food as such, but food features heavily in it.  The heroine brings her best friend, California born and raised, to the Arkansas Ozarks and the friend has to struggle with southern food.  ("Crowder peas!" our heroine rhapsodizes. "Eight flavors of grits. Eight!  You can't get that in California.") In addition, two other main characters - sisters in their 80's - are furiously competitive with each other in the kitchen.  Woe betide the person who gets caught between them, or who samples only one sister's potato salad at a picnic!  I was in stitches.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My dear wife, returning from 'lunching', snagged this book for me in a charity shop.

 

It is wonderful. Who knew? It is seemingly unread. What pleasure.

 

 

le-repertoire0040.jpg

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

that's a wonderful book.   I found it in England in the late '70's and laster the same ( original ) in France :

 

Books.jpg

 

its a fun way to keep up my " Menu French "

 

smile.gif

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On September 10, 2015 at 5:10 AM, MelissaH said:

This is a food book, if you consider a book about how your food is grown to be a book about food: The Shepherd's Life by James Rebanks. It's beautifully written, and at times absolutely heartbreaking (remember the hoof-and-mouth outbreak?). Overall, it's an interesting look into a way of life I'll probably never experience firsthand but appreciate tremendously.

 

I'll second @MelissaH's recommendation of this one.  I borrowed the digital edition from my library and read it on a recent trip.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've got quite a few bedside, and the "rotation" is always changing.  Currently, Gourmet's Tour of France, Larousse, Great Chefs of France, Guy Savoy's La Cuisine de Mes Bistrots, Parts I and II of Jacques Pepin's The Art of Cooking (If any have read his La Technique, read these - all in beautiful color photographs, with much more of a seamless marriage between techniques and recipes), Escoffier's Guide Culinaire, two by Tom Colicchio, Craig Claibourne's Classic French Cooking, The Table Comes First:  Family, France and the Meaning of Food by Adam Gopnik (what an incredible read), McGee, Paul Bocuse's French Cooking, Richard Olney's French Menu Cookbook, James Peterson's Sauces, TFL, The Nouvelle Cuisine of Jean and Pierre Trosgrois, Alain Chapel's La Cuisine:  C'est Beaucoup Plus Que des Recettes.  Oh, and just recently placed bedside, for the umpteenth time, Kitchen Confidential.

 

These books provide comfort on a kind of fervent quest - quest to reinvestigate early passions, roots, and here, to rediscover the basic brown stock, sauce.  Have always defaulted to veal, TK's non-roasting method, and reduction; but it's been decades since making Espagnole and I am going back to "the beginning," to include the use of beef as well as veal, along with the other components of a classic estouffade, espagnole, demi-glace.  Will make true essences, and "sacrificial meats," as Bernard Loiseau liked to call the process.  And will go back to the kind of food sumptuously described and photographed in Claibourne's book, whole joints served with now arcane garnishes, and all the rest.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@paul o' vendange  

 

wonderful list of books !

 

James Peterson's Sauces  is as favorite of mine.

 

Ive very Sauce-Centric    something the French understand and do well.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I love his Sauces book as well, rotuts.  I'm completely with you, too - in fact, if I were to start over, I'd imagine I'd be deeply content to be a saucier, over any other station.  What an infinite world, yes?!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@paul o' vendange  

 

exactly so.

 

even in distant cuisines, the bit of sauce  makes or breaks the dish.

 

thinking about Szechuan Orange Flavored Chicken i used to get in Boston's Chinatown at the old 'Shanghai' restaurant. Spicy. perfect

 

and an outstanding bit of sauce. I first had it in 1966 when one of my fathers old advisors from MIT took us there.  He had lived

 

and taught in China in the '20s and '30's

 

If I were a Saucier, Id like to also have a Friendly Bud  in the Pastry Room.

 

for perspetive.  


Edited by rotuts (log)
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Today was Dime Day at the local Friends of the Library sale. For a dime, I could not resist this:

 

DSC01078.jpg

 

It focuses on cookbooks - or brochures - put out by various food companies in the 1950's. There is also a chapter on the 70's. (He barely mentions  the 60's - I remember quite a lot of regrettable food from that decade.)

 

Here's my favorite:

DSC01079.jpg

To properly give credit:Lileks, James,  The Gallery of Regrettable Food. Crown Publishers, New York. 2001. Page 19

The porterhouse steak smothered in ketchup, topped with hard boiled eggs that are also covered in ketchup is clearly a winner. I did think the hard boiled egg and olive penguins were kind of cute. And, perhaps luckily, there is no picture of the liver spoon cakes. 


Edited by ElainaA (log)
  • Like 8

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, ElainaA said:

Today was Dime Day at the local Friends of the Library sale. For a dime, I could not resist this:

 

DSC01078.jpg

 

It focuses on cookbooks - or brochures - put out by various food companies in the 1950's. There is also a chapter on the 70's. (He barely mentions  the 60's - I remember quite a lot of regrettable food from that decade.)

 

Here's my favorite:

DSC01079.jpg

To properly give credit:Lileks, James,  The Gallery of Regrettable Food. Crown Publishers, New York. 2001. Page 19

The porterhouse steak smothered in ketchup, topped with hard boiled eggs that are also covered in ketchup is clearly a winner. I did think the hard boiled egg and olive penguins were kind of cute. And, perhaps luckily, there is no picture of the liver spoon cakes. 

 

I have this book too!!!!  I laughed my ASS off.  It's seriously one of the funniest things I've ever read.  

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

GFT:  on reserve from the Lib.  My town does not have a copy.  but several in the LibSystem

 

look forward to it

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not here yet, but really looking forward to it arriving - Eduoard Nignon's Eloges de la Cuisine FrançaiseI suspect it will be a fantastic read.  I'm intrigued especially by what I read somewhere (might have been in James Peterson's Sauces) - Nignon's approach to stock and sauce making; in some ways, anticipating today's reduction and gelatin-centric cuisine.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just finished The Family That Couldn't Sleep, a 2006 book about the history -- and politics -- of prion-related diseases, including bovine spongiform encephalopathy (aka mad cow disease) and kuru (which most likely was related to ritualistic cannibalism). Highly recommended.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Going a bit cookbook crazy, old and new. 

  • Like Enurmi, on my (don't know how many) re-reads of Culinary Artistry;
  • Pro Chef 7, starting over and working everything;
  • Escoffier (had the crazy idea I'd start over here, too - but at 55, I think I need another 47 lives);
  • Re-Reading Wells's/Robuchon's Simply French in a new light.  Still ruminating on his true potato puree, and how close this book is to his working recipes.
  • Dotting among:
    • Bocuse's Cuisine Marché
    • Troisgros bros
    • Vergé
    • Chapel (more a rumination on cooking, than a recipe book - which I love.  The man was deep);
  • Very recently acquired and loved already:
    • Gault-Millau's Dining in France
    • Jean-Louis Palladin, Cooking with the Seasons (Man.  All I can say is, man).  I know this book is as much the artful photography by Fred Maroon as it is the genius of the late Jean-Louis Palladin, but I still can't wait to do everything I can to replicate these incredible plates.  I wish I could have known the chef.
  • Recently acquired, and in the "not sure yet" phase:  Robuchon's Complete Robuchon.  I should have read the sub-title more clearly.  Was hoping for a different book - a book going fairly deeply into his haute cuisine technique and outlook, not a compendium of bourgeoise and bistro classics.  No hubris to say, nothing to be gained here.....riiiiiiiight.  Was just hoping for a better "instructional" text from this grand-master, past taskmaster to Ripert and countless others.  Suggestions, btw, welcome.
  • Maureau's Recettes en Provence;
  • Fisher's Art of Eating as well as Brillat-Savarin's book, a re-read as well.
  • Coming and can't wait:
    • Nignon's Eloges de la Cuisine Française
    • Grand Masters of French Cuisine:  Five Centuries of Great Cooking
    • (Re-)acquiring Loomis's French Farmhouse Cookbook
    • Anne Willan's La Varenne Pratique.  Just got and briefly skimmed her Chateau Cuisine as well - a beautiful book.  Have yet to dig in to see its practical value.
    • Pellaprat's Great Book of French Cuisine.
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Mission Chinese cookbook which is more essays and interviews than just a compilation of recipes.  

 


Edited by lesliec Added eG-friendly Amazon link (log)
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I recently finished On the Noodle Road: From Beijing to Rome, with Love and Pasta by Jen Lin-Liu. Quite an interesting read.

 

Also enjoyed Spoon Fed by Kim Severson

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I re-read Spoon Fed about every 6 months! 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

I have finished both

The Wurst of Lucky Peach: A Treasury of Encased Meatir?t=egulletcom-20&l=am2&o=1&a=080418777 and 

The Elements of Pizza: Unlocking the Secrets to World-Class Pies at Homeir?t=egulletcom-20&l=am2&o=1&a=160774838

with strong opinions on both.

Both books were borrowed from our local public library. I much prefer to pre-read and evaluate books before

purchasing.

'The Wurst of Lucky Peach': Reminded me of a website in style and content. Disjoint and unfocused despite the

title. Not a keeper.

'Elements of Pizza' by Ken Forkish: Excellent. I'll be ordering my copy soon.

 

 


Edited by Smithy Added Amazon-friendly links (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just got Real Food Fake Food by Larry Olmsted after hearing his NPR interview. Really looking forward to being discouraged.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, gfron1 said:

Just got Real Food Fake Food by Larry Olmsted after hearing his NPR interview. Really looking forward to being discouraged.

I also listened to this interview. I have a similar response I think - I NEED to read this. Do i really WANT to read this?

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×