Voracious: A Hungry Reader Cooks Her Way Through Great Books

Cara Nicoletti. Little, Brown, $28 (288p) ISBN 978-0-316-24298-1
Nicoletti, a butcher, former pastry chef, and food blogger, writes of a passion for books and food that’s as inviting as a bowl of homemade chocolate pudding. That’s just one of the dishes enjoyed by the Boxcar Children that can be whipped up from directions in Nicoletti’s warm, lovely, recipe-rich memoir. As an anxious child growing up outside of Boston, she found immense pleasure and escapism in literature and later in cooking, which brought her closer to the characters and stories that entranced her. Nicoletti spent many happy hours sitting on a milk crake in her grandfather’s butcher shop and developed a taste for atypical kid foods, such as the chicken liver pâté her grandfather put on Ritz crackers for her after-school snack. Her youth was filled with Grimm’s fairy tales, along with a gingerbread house that reading Hansel and Gretel stirred her to build (she includes a recipe for an adult version of gingerbread cake with blood orange syrup), and Anne of Green Gables, which inspired particularly delicious salted chocolate caramels. As an adult, she appreciated the power a book had to help her get over a heartbreak, bond with her grandfather, or endure a winter holiday spent with her parents (respectively, the Aeniad, Middlesex, and Brideshead Revisited). Nicoletti turns both reading and cooking into eagerly anticipated visceral experiences. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 06/08/2015
Hardcover - 304 pages - 978-0-316-24299-8
Hardcover - 415 pages - 978-1-4104-8594-6
Paperback - 304 pages - 978-0-316-24297-4
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