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Summer Reading for Foodies


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#1 Angelhair

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Posted 11 June 2008 - 07:57 AM

Chow has posted a list of ten food-centric summer reads: http://www.chow.com/stories/11147 What about everyone else. What's on your list to read or have you read anything interesting lately? What with jury duty and vacation, I have been reading a ton. I finished a couple that are very good:

Sound Bites: Eating on tour with Franz Ferdinand was a fast and fun read. It's made up of essays about where they have been and what they ate there.

In Curry: A Tale of Cooks and Conquerors, the author traces the country's social and political history through food.

I may have to push aside my need to read the new books coming out this week from David Sedaris and Salman Rushdie for these two:

Mark Kurlansky (he of Salt and Cod) has a new one out about the decimated fishing town of Gloucester called the The Last Fish Tale

My favorite misogynist Kingsly Amis shows us how it's done in Everyday Drinking


Amazon's list of new (or new in paperback) gastronomy: http://www.amazon.co...k...e=UTF8&pg=1

#2 craig

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Posted 11 June 2008 - 09:38 AM

Haven't thought about non-cookbooks yet but I just pulled out Ivy Manning's cookbook (From the Farm to the Table, I think) and will start working through it.

Just looked at the list. This one sounds like my cup of tea: The Sharper Your Knife, the Less You Cry: Love, Laughter, and Tears at the World’s Most Famous Cooking School by Kathleen Flinn.
"Part of the secret of success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside." -- Mark Twain

#3 StMaximo

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Posted 11 June 2008 - 09:42 AM

All of those are or will be available from Multnomah County Library. Several have no or short wait times - A little longer now since I reserved several of them that I hadn't already read.

A couple of my favorites that I've been re-reading recently

"The Armchair James Beard" - A collection of his columns

"Pig Perfect: Encounters with Remarkable Swine and Some Great Ways to Cook Them" by Peter Kaminsky

#4 Jocelyn:McAuliflower

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Posted 11 June 2008 - 12:24 PM

the Taste of Sweet- I highly recommend it.

I finished it a couple months ago and am still thinking about it. Its a full circle investigation into the culture, science and physiology of our sweetness preferences. The author does a good job at finding the balance with being informative and still personal.

One of her passages really kicked off a reflection on my tendency to judge people by their food. While not the full thrust of her book- there are great passages on food elitism in our foodie culture.

#5 StMaximo

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Posted 11 June 2008 - 12:53 PM

the Taste of Sweet-

One of her passages really kicked of a reflection on my tendency to judge people by their food. While not the full thrust of her book- there are great passages on food elitism in our foodie culture.


Speaking of judging people.....what does it say about me that I read your blog? :think:

#6 Jocelyn:McAuliflower

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Posted 11 June 2008 - 02:04 PM

Speaking of judging people.....what does it say about me that I read your blog? :think:


off topic...

Reading is one thing.
Judging... well.... I do give you quite a bit of context on my blog by which to judge!
I blog to document and hopes of inspiring others.

It's the judging people via their food without context that I was cringing at. Like playing the 'my grocery cart looks better than yours does' game.

One morning bus, I was tsking at a Mom in front of us who was feeding her little boy skittles at 9 in the morning. When they got off the bus I made a snarky comment of some sort about breakfast to Steve.

He usually chimes right back on these things, but this time he sat quietly for a moment. He had heard my previous soul searching on food elitism that was spurred by the above book.

"Maybe it's his birthday" Steve answered.

Epp! In that one small phrase I received the crashing bitch-slap of context. Of course we'll never know if it was his birthday, but the point being we don't know. And my on the spot judgment won't help this Mom and kid towards a better breakfast.

I'm learning to pick my battles of guerrilla tactics.

#7 Jocelyn:McAuliflower

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Posted 11 June 2008 - 02:13 PM

A Geography of Oysters: The Connoisseur's Guide to Oyster Eating in North America
by Rowan Jacobsen

This book is a quick sweet succulent read. Largely because you'll be drooling about oysters all the way through. Secondly because its a great informative tasting guide to oysters by region. I enjoyed the author's voice; I am now regretting that I didn't copy some of his passages out of the book.

I took several of his tasting descriptions with me to the Oyster Bar downtown with a couple dozen oysters: Netarts, Hama hamas, belons... and others I've forgotten. And I'll be damned- this book got me to hold and savour those flavor moments so that I too could pick out the nuances of green melon in a chewed oyster. Some were lettuce flavor even. This book helped open my oyster flavor descriptions beyond: metallic, salty, like the ocean.

In light of the recent oyster news, I'm inclined to check this out again and eat sweet farewell to these babies.

#8 concreteoatmeal

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Posted 11 June 2008 - 02:18 PM

does it make it more palatable if it WERE his bday? what if she were feeding him straight cake frosting?some things are just wrong regardless of what the calendar says. Its one thing to judge what someone is buying when its Doritos, twinkies, Mt Dew, Totinos pizzas, etc... Its another if its healthy things(fruits, veg, fresh bread) that are just below the quality/price that you are accustom to.....
my $.02
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#9 BaconLuv

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Posted 11 June 2008 - 07:14 PM

Just looked at the list. This one sounds like my cup of tea: The Sharper Your Knife, the Less You Cry: Love, Laughter, and Tears at the World’s Most Famous Cooking School by Kathleen Flinn.


Just finished this recently. It was a pretty enjoyable, light and quick read. It includes recipes at the end of each chapter. Mult Co Lib definitely has it, if not several copies, and it wasn't a long wait.
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#10 Amanda

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Posted 17 June 2008 - 08:10 AM

I probably should be reading "The Sharper Your Knife, the Less You Cry" because I'm always getting razzed by Craig about the dullest knives in the world residing in my kitchen. However, I'm reading Jocelyn's suggestion, "A Geography of Oysters: The Connoisseur's Guide to Oyster Eating in North America by Rowan Jacobsen.

I just got the book from the library and am already 15 pages into it. It's really good! Since I seem to have an oyster obsession this year it's going to be good reading. The author makes the subject very interesting, but also makes me hungry for oysters. John bought me an oyster knife last night and I'm thinking I may start making mignonettes and buying oysters on my own. There's no cooking involved and I could be enjoying these succelent yummies in my own backyard! What a treat.

We might have to take a field trip sometime to South Bend or Hoods Canal to get the oysters as fresh as they get. Meanwhile, I'll probably be hitting the Asian grocery stores to see if they have any fresh in stock.

I've never been the least bit interested in oysters, really, till Tanuki came into my life. I had some great ones at Alberta Street Oyster Bar, Carlyle, Lucy's Table, and one time ExtraMSG made a small portion of "oyster stew" that knocked me off my feet, but it wasn't enough to make me seriously crave them. Dan & Louis' oysters were OK, as were Salty's, but I think the oysters Tanuki gets and the mignonette QV makes is what has really gotten me hooked.

This PF.org food board has opened me up to so many wonderful things in life that I never knew I could enjoy. My life is so much richer in the things I eat and read these days.

Best regards,

Amanda

#11 Jill-O

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Posted 18 June 2008 - 08:01 AM

I have both "The Sharper Your Knife, the Less You Cry" and "A Geography of Oysters" on hold at the library (read faster Amanda! ;o)

BTW Amanda, Linda Crab (they're at almost all of the big Farmers' Markets in town) sells very fresh unshucked oysters. They always have their tags so you always know where they came from and when they were harvested (as all oysters should...always ask to see the tag if you are buying them retail).
Never give up! Never surrender!

#12 Amanda

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Posted 18 June 2008 - 09:05 AM

How much do oysters cost when you buy them fresh retail? This is new territory for me.

Best regards,

Amanda

#13 polloelastico

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Posted 18 June 2008 - 09:11 AM

How much do oysters cost when you buy them fresh retail? This is new territory for me.

Best regards,

Amanda

Amanda, Fubonn had medium Pacific oysters on sale last weekend for $7/dozen. Uwajimaya usually has them for a few bucks more. The kumamotos at Uwajimaya are more pricey - something like $15/dozen.
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#14 Guest_MostlyRunning_*

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Posted 18 June 2008 - 12:30 PM


How much do oysters cost when you buy them fresh retail? This is new territory for me.

Best regards,

Amanda

Amanda, Fubonn had medium Pacific oysters on sale last weekend for $7/dozen. Uwajimaya usually has them for a few bucks more. The kumamotos at Uwajimaya are more pricey - something like $15/dozen.


I've always found Newman's at Citymarket to be the best price when I'm buying oysters and wanting to know origin. Haven't been in a few months, but you could call regarding prices and selection.

Newman's Fish Co
Address: 735 NW 21st Ave, Portland, OR 97209
Phone: (503) 227-2700

<edit: sorry for the hijack>

#15 Craig Camp

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Posted 18 June 2008 - 04:23 PM

To add some lighter wine reading to your summer food reading try:

The Billionaire's Vinegar by Benjamin Wallace reads like a detective story as it traces the auction of a fraudulent bottle of 1787 Lafite that supposedly belonged to Thomas Jefferson.

To Cork or Not to Cork by George Taber takes a look at what's the best closure for a wine bottle. Not drab or all, but a great story written in an upbeat, journalistic style.

#16 SauceSupreme

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Posted 19 June 2008 - 10:58 AM

A Geography of Oysters: The Connoisseur's Guide to Oyster Eating in North America
by Rowan Jacobsen


I usually don't chime in on the book threads, but I actually want to second this recommendation. This should be required reading for anyone who is a fan of the oyster arts. Eating an oyster is like drinking wine: sometimes nuanced, sometime blatant, but always with a sense of terroir.

My personal favorite oyster variety: Malpeques from the St. Lawrence River.

The most recent non-cookbook food book that I've devoured: My Last Supper, which interviews about 50 world-class chefs and asks them all to describe their death row meal. Some are surprisingly simple (Eric Ripert of Le Bernardin: toast, sea salt, truffles), others are grandiose (Daniel Boulud wanting his last meal in the Hall of Mirrors in Versailles).

I've been ruminating on the subject for years, but I think I'm happy with my most recent iteration of my last meal: Dockside on a wharf somewhere, soft-shelled crab po' boy, garlic fries, and a good whiskey.
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#17 Amanda

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Posted 03 July 2008 - 10:22 AM

I'm done with A Geography of Oysters and will be returning it to the library this weekend: If you're the next one up for it in the holds HERE IT COMES, JILL-O!

It was excellent. That's almost a book worth buying. I really appreciate the recommendation. What would seem like it might be a less than exciting subject was totally illuminated by Rowan Jacobsen's writing. Interesting, well-written book that helps make the oyster obsession even more exciting.

I'm halfway through David Sedaris' new book now, then I'll try to tackle Curry again.

Best regards,

Amanda

#18 Angelhair

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Posted 03 July 2008 - 10:29 AM

I just finished How I Learned to Cook http://www.amazon.co...l...9571&sr=1-2. It's an anthology from the same editors who brought us Don't Try This at Home.

Lots of great chefs, some of who are good writers, some not so good, but it's amusing enough. Perfect for the porch, and simply grand for the short attention spans of summer.

#19 allison

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Posted 03 July 2008 - 10:49 AM

I just ordered "Bottomfeeder: How to Eat Ethically in a World of Vanishing Seafood" by Taras Gresco from Amazon. Hopefully it will help me expand my seafood options instead of limiting them.

#20 MaBell

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Posted 03 July 2008 - 11:03 AM

Not new, but I was just reading about "In The Devil's Garden" the other day - it's all about the history of food taboos.
Homer: Are you saying you're never going to eat any animal again? What about bacon?
Lisa: No.
Homer: Ham?
Lisa: No.
Homer: Pork chops?
Lisa: Dad, those all come from the same animal.
Homer: Heh heh heh. Ooh, yeah, right, Lisa. A wonderful, magical animal.