In Pursuit of Flavor

Edna Lewis, Author, Louisa Waller, Illustrator
Edna Lewis, Author, Louisa Waller, Illustrator Alfred A. Knopf $18.95 (323p) ISBN 978-0-394-54271-3
Reviewed on: 09/01/1988
Release date: 09/01/1988
Here Lewis forages into the past for the beloved foods of her Virginia childhood, cooked indoors with produce grown in the family garden``a pampered piece of soil outside the kitchen window.'' Good food, the author argues, must be ``honestly cooked'': made from produce in season that was raised organically, and prepared simply, with one's feet on the ground. Her repertoire includes distinctly Southern dishes, such as cooked greens and catfish stew, as well as many with a rural accent, requiring squirrels, she-crabs or rabbits. The down-home emphasis is occasionally varied by Nigerian and Ethiopian fare. However, Lewis's best recipes stay close to home (Vidalia onion pickles, Brunswick stew, potato cakes, peach cobber with nutmeg sauce). Admittedly fond of heavy cream, lard and other animal fats, she suggests low-fat alternatives for those who aren't. Though some of the author's deliciously old-fashioned assertions``good cooks always put up their own food''are impractical, anyone pining for food that tastes of farm and family will not be left hungry. BOMC Cooking and Crafts Club main selection. (Oct.)
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